Skip to main content

Full text of "The Chicken of Ulisse Aldrovandi"

See other formats


Elio CopM 
Fernando Civardi 



ALDROGALLUS 




Gcdmac&y gemi 
dicdtui 



Transcribed 

by 

Fernando 

Civardi 



Translated 

by 

Elio 

Corti 



The Chicken of Ulisse Aldrovandi 



April 26 - 2009 



Page 183 



[183] 

ULYSSIS ALDROVANDI 

PHILOSOPHI, ET MEDICI 

BONONIENSIS 

ORNITHOLOGIAE 

Liber Decimusquartus. 

QUI EST 

DE PULVERATRICIBUS DOMESTICIS. 



[183] 

ULYSSES ALDROVANDI 

PHILOSOPHER AND PHYSICIAN 

OF BOLOGNA 

FOURTEENTH BOOK OF 

ORNITHOLOGY 

CONCERNING 

DOMESTIC DUST BATHING FOWLS 



The translation began on Monday July 7 - 1997 

Planning of the job: Sunday July 7 - 2003 

Translation finished at 6:35 o'clock of Wednesday February 16 - 2005 

Reviewed by Roberto Ricciardi from page 183 to page 243 

Latin text transcribed by Fernando Civardi - 1996 
Reviewed by Elio Corti - 2009 

The errors are only partly of typographical nature 

being quite a lot those of conceptual sort. 

948 is the total of the errors identifiable through the character { 

1,196 is the total of the errors identifiable through the character < 

1,072 is the total average number of the errors 

The Greek text here reported doesn't correspond to the typographical one 

being the latter crammed with mistakes 

and that's why it has not been included in the computation 

whose total would result very higher. 

Total of the Latin words: 87,385 
Percentage of the Latin errors: 1.226% 



The * - asterisk - following a word refers to the item present in Lessico of 

www.summagallicana.it 



DE GALLO GALLINACEO 
& GALLINA Cap. I. 

Claras, ni fallimur, easque satis efficaces rationes 
in pnmordio huiusce opens adduximus, cur a 
Pavone potius, quam a Gallmaceo genere exorsi 
fuerimus, tametsi hoc in omni avium familia, 
quae ad mensae usum requiruntur, apud omnes 
ferme authores, quotquot hactenus scnpserunt, 
primas obtinere videatur. Placuit autem, ut id 
obiter dicamus, Plinium hac in re, tanquam 
ducem, authoremque sectari. Hie enim subinde a 
Pavombus ad Gallmaceos sermonem convertit, 
dum ait: Proxime gloriam sentiunt, et hi nostri tigiks 
nocturni, quos extitandis in opera mortalibus, 
mmpendoque somno natura genuit: {noiit} <norunf> x 



CHAPTER I 
THE COCK AND THE HEN 

At the beginning of this work I brought forward clear, if I 
am not mistaken, and also rather valid reasons why I 
started from peacock rather than from gallinaceous genus, 
although the latter, among the whole class of birds sought 
for table, seems to hold the first place among almost all 
authors who have thus far written on them. I can say 
incidentally that in this respect I have chosen to follow 
Pliny* as guide and as reliable source. And precisely, from 
peacocks, he directly changes his subject to the fowls, 
when saying: Nearly likewise - the peacocks - are longing for glory 
also these our nightly guardians Nature created for arousing mortals 
to their labor and for breaking their slumber, they are acquainted 
with the stars etc. Meanwhile, I realize that somebody won't 



1 Naturalis Historia X, 46: Norunt sidera. - Proxime gloriam sentiunt et hi nostri vigiles nocturni, quos excitandis in opera mortalibus 
rumpendoque somno natura genuit. Norunt sidera et ternas distinguunt horas interdiu cantu. Cum sole eunt cubitum quartaque 



sidera etc. Haucl me fugit interim, non defutura 
cuipiam sua argumenta, quibus Gallinaceum 
hocce genus in multis, praecedentibus avibus 
praeferat. Veruntamen cum hae volucres prorsus 
domesticae sint, like vero sylvestres, quae 
domesticis meo mdicio sunt praestantiores, vel 
saltern ita vulgo habentur, itaque Gallmaceam 
hanc familiam in hunc librum, qui pnvatim de ea 
tantum aget, reiecimus. 

Plurimi sane has alites veteres fecisse, maxime 
Gallos, vel ex hoc 2 Cicero nis constat, qui non 
minus delinquere eum, dixit, qui Galium Gallinaceum, 
cum non opus fuerit, Occident, quam eum, qui patrem 
suffocaverit. Nee ab re ita scnpsit Tullius, cum 
praecipue hac ave prisci Graeci, et Romani in 
bello uterentur, et saens suis adhiberent. Non 
minorem laudem meretur eius animositas, 
splendorque et amor erga suos, caeteraeque eius 
dotes, quibus sese verum nobis egregn, 
laudabilisque patrisfamilias exemplar praebet. 

Quantum vero ex hoc Gallo, eiusque coniugibus, 
ac libens emolumenti humano generi, cum ad 
victum tarn sanis, quam aegrotis suppeditandum, 
turn etiam ad quoscunque ferme morbos 
propulsandos cedat, id tarn clarum cuivis esse 
arbitramur, ut demonstratione prorsus non 
egeat. Quis etenim tarn mternus, quam externus 
corporis affectus, qui non hinc sua hauriat 
remedia? 

Sed de hisce post suo loco: lam ad historiam 
more nostro accedamus: in qua tradenda illud 
fere in singulis rubncis observabimus: quae 
utnque sexui commuma sunt, praeferemus: hinc 
quae mari, ultimo quae faemmae soli conveniunt 
adducemus, omnem ubique quoad licuent, 
confusionem evitaturi. De Capo vero separatim 
agere visum est, cum quod is, etsi ex Gallo 
factus veluti utnusque sexum complexus, et ceu 
hermophroditus factus, medius scilicet inter 
Galium, et Gallmam videatur, turn quia ad 
mensae vel sanorum, vel aegrorum usum 
duntaxat natus sit: Gallus vero, et Gallina soboli 
studentes genus suum natura duce aeternum 
reddant. 



lack the arguments by which to place this gallinaceous 
genus before several previous birds. In spite of that, being 
these birds completely domestic, and being the other ones 
without doubt wild, which in my opinion are superior to 
the domestic ones, or at least are usually so considered, 
therefore I placed this gallinaceous family in this book 
which deals with it quite exclusively. 



Without any doubt it is turning out evident that ancients 
highly esteemed these birds, overall the cocks, like it turns 
out from this passage of Cicero*, who said: He was no less 
at fault who killed a rooster when there was no need to do so than 
he who choked his father. And Tullius didn't write thus 
without a reason, since ancient Greeks and Romans 
mainly used this bird in warfare and assigned it to their 
sacred ceremonies. No less praise are deserving its 
courage and its magnificence, and the love toward its 
owns, and other its qualities by which it offers us itself as 
true example of matchless and praiseworthy family father. 

No proof is required, for to whomever it is clear, how 
much benefits are arising for mankind from the rooster 
and from its females as well as from its offspring, not 
only by furnishing plentifully food for both healthy and 
sick humans, but also in holding off almost any kind of 
illness. And precisely, what body's illness both internal 
and external does not obtain its remedies hence? 



But I shall speak of this matter later in its proper place: 
now according to my usual procedure I enter into the 
research: and in giving its account I will subdivide it 
practically in subchapters: I will begin with those things 
which are in common with both sexes: next I will report 
on what is concerning the male, and last the female alone, 
endeavoring anywhere to avoid as far as possible any 
confusion. It seemed wise to me to deal separately with 
the Capon, since, although created from the rooster, it 
almost seems to include both sexes and that it turned into 
a hermaphrodite, that is, something in between the cock 
and the hen, and moreover because it is born merely for 
the use at the table of both healthy and sick humans: so 
that cock and hen, devoting themselves to the offspring, 
can make eternal their progeny under the leadership of 
Nature. 



castrensi vigilia ad curas laboremque revocant nee solis ortum incautis patiuntur obrepere diemque venientem nuntiant cantu, 

ipsum vero cantum plausu laterum. 

2 Cicero, Pro Murena 61: nee minus delinquere. 



Page 184 



[184] AEQUIVOCA. 

AAeKTcop, AAeictpucov Graecis, uti etiam Latinis 
Gallus, vox est aequivoca, et multa sigmficat. 
Alector, teste Eustathio 3 , films fuit Epei Regis 
Elidis. Eiusdem nominis filium dicitur habuisse 
Argea Pelopis films, et Hegesandrae filiae 
Amiclae, cuius filia Iphiloche, vel Echemelus 
Megapenthi filio Menel{e}ai nupta fuit, ut idem 
Eustathms tradit. Quidam Alectryon nomine 
tyrannidem quondam gessit, et Persis primus 
imperasse dicitur, etiam antequam vel Darius, vel 
{Megabyzus 4 } <Megabazus>: unde etiam 
Gallus, ut post dicemus, ales Persica appellatur 5 . 
Alectryon item nomen ducis est Philippi Regis, 
qui a Chare<te> Atheniensi interemptus fuisse 
fertur: at num cum supenon idem fuent, vel, 
quod magis credo, diversus, non ausim 
affirmare: docet autem historia, hunc Charetem 
saepius, et nimis arroganter istius facti verba 
apud populum Atheniensem fecisse, adeo ut 
hinc postmodum natum sit proverbium 
(DiAiTtTtou aXeictpucov, id est Philippi Gallus 6 : ubi 
quis de levi quopiam facinore perinde ut 
maximo se iactaret. {Alectryon} <Electryon> 
quoque dicebatur {Amphitnoms} 

<Amphitryonis> {pater, films} <patruus, 
frater> vero Alcei, cuius memmit Hesiodus 7 . 



AMBIGUITIES 



Alektor, alektryon for Greeks, as also gallus for Latins, is an 
ambiguous term and means many things. Alector, 
according to the testimony of Eustathms*, was the son of 
Epeus*, king of Elis*. Argeios*, son of Pelops* and 
Hegesandra, daughter of Amicla*, is said to have had a 
son of the same name, whose daughter — of Alector - 
Iphiloche* or Echemela was bride of Megapenthes*, son 



)f Menelaus* 



as 



Eustathms of Thessalonica himself 



hands down. Once, someone named Alectryon ruled as 
tyrant, and they say that he has been the first ruling the 
Persians, even before both Darius* and Megabazus*: 
whence the rooster is also called the Persian bird, as I 
shall later say. Alektryon is the name of a commander of 
king Philip 2 nd * too, about whom they say he was killed 
by the Athenian Chares*: whether he was identical with 
the former or, as I incline to believe, was a different 
person, I do not dare to assert: on the other hand history 
shows that this Chares related about this event too much 
often and with too much arrogance to Athenian people, 
so much so that subsequently hence arose the saying 
Philippou alektryon, to wit, Cock of Philip: when somebody 
was bragging about a trivial undertaking as though it was 
the biggest one. Was rise called Electryon* the uncle of 
Amphitryon*, the former being brother of Alceus*, 
mentioned by Hesiod*. 



AAeKToop Eustathio 8 coniugem sigmficat pro Alektor means wife in Eustathms, instead of homokktros - 
ojioAeKTpoq, quasi ojioleicTog, litera alpha bedmate, equivalent to homolektos, the letter ^ alpha 



3 s. v. Alektor, adlliadem II 615, p. 303; ad Odysseam IV 3-10, p. 1479, 21. Vedi W. H. Roscher, Ausfuehrliches Lexikon der griech. u. roem. 
Mythologie, s.v. Alektor. 

4 La notizia clie un certo Alektryon fu tiranno dei Persiani prima di tutti, anche di Dario e di Megabazo - e non di Megabizo* -, viene 
dalla commedia di Aristofane Gli uccelli, 483. E probabile clie Aldrovandi abbia dedotto l'errore dal testo di Conrad Gessner, Historia 
Animalium III (1555), pag. 404: Alectryon olim tyrannidem gessit, et Persis primus imperavit, etiam ante Darium et Megabyzum: 
unde etiamnum ab illo imperio Persica avis appellatur, Pisthetaerus apud Aristoph. in Avibus. — A sua volta Gessner potrebbe aver 
dedotto l'errore da qualche testo come quello di Aldo Manuzio del 1498 clie riporta: Ttpcbtov TtavTcov Sapstoi; Ka! jisyapu^oi;. - In 
Aves 481 sgg. si dice semplicemente che in origine gli uccelli regnavano sugli uomini, e Piste tero mostrera immediatamente il gallo 
(ton alektryond), come regnava sui Persiani, prima di tutti i Dari e i Megabazi, cosicche il gallo e chiamato "uccello persiano". 

5 E il lessico Suida* che chiama Persikos ornis le Alektorides. 

6 Confronta Zenolio, VI 34; Apostolio, 17, 86 A; Ateneo, Deipnosophistat'"Sl\,4?>,S?>2c. In Ateneo si dice che Carete, che fu stratego 
ateniese e nel 337 aC combatte a Cheronea, fu l'uccisore di Adeo detto Alectryon, generale dei mercenari di Filippo. 

7 Grande bagarre! Elettrione e Alceo erano fratelli, figli di Perseo. Anfitrione era figlio di Alceo, quindi era nipote di Elettrione, 
quindi Elettrione era zio di Anfitrione per via paterna — patruus in latino. Nello Scudo di Esiodo troviamo Elettrione 'HAsKXpucov e 
sua figlia Alcmena, che talora va sotto il nome di AAicjif}vr|, talora sotto quello di 'HAsKTpucovr), cioe Elettriona, la figlia di 
'HAsKTptJGOV. — Si emenda pater con patruus e filius cow prater— La fonte dello svarione e Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III 
(1555), pag. 404: Electryon memoratur Amphitryonis pater et filius Alcei, ut testis est Hesiodus in Aspide. 

8 ad Odysseam IV 10, p. 1479, 29-30. — Aldrovandi dimostra, stavolta, un po' piu di buona volonta linguistica rispetto a Gessner, il 
quale e invece piu sintetico e non risulta pertanto esaustivo. Vediamo prima la questione linguistica degli omografi, poi citeremo lo 
sbrigativo Gessner. - Alektor con. alpha copulativa significa moglie, con alpha privativa significa vergine. Lo stesso accade per alochos: 
con alpha copulativa e la compagna di letto, la moglie, talora la concubina, con alpha privativa significa vergine, che non ha 
generate - Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 402: AAsKTcop poetis uxorem significat, f| ojioAsKTpog, Eustathius: 
ut et ixXo^oc,. item virginem lectum sive coniugium non expertam. sic Minervam aAsKTopa legimus, Idem. Pompeianus sophista 
cum Panathenaea festa celebrarentur Athenis, in quibus iudicia cessant, dixit: [...]. 



significante 6p.o{3. Eadem vox alpha privandi 
vim habens innuptam significat, quare Minervam 
aAeKTopa dictam legimus apud Athenaeum 9 , ubi 
Pompeianus sophista cum Panathenaea festa 
celebrarentur, in quibus mdicia cessant dicebat: 
yeveBAioq eaxi xr\q aXexxopoc, A6r|va<;, Kal 
aSiKoq r| Tf|teq r||i.epa. 

Apud Ionem 10 aijloq, hoc est, tibia, aXeicTcop 
vocatur, quod propter soni dulcedinem auditores 
a cubili revocet, vel dormire non smat. Unde 
etiam sol Homero rjlXeictcop 11 nuncupatur, quia 
homines aXexxpovc, facit, sive a lecto discedere, 
vel potius quod ipse oXeictpcoc;, id est, pervigil 
sit, hoc est nunquam cubet, ac quiescat. 

AAeKTcop denique Plinio 12 gemma est, de qua 
post in denominatis: nam alii codices Pliniani 
legunt aXexxopac,; alii aXexxopeiac,. 

Gallus, ut scnptum reliquit Quintilianus 13 , vox 
panter ambigua est; Utrum enim, inquit, avem, an 
gentem, an nomen, an fortunam corporis significet 
incertum est. Galli in pnmis vocabantur decantati 
illi sacerdotes, qui praesto erant sacns 
Cybele<i>is. Hos archigallos Iulius Firmicus 14 
vocabat teste Brodaeo. Romae epitaphium 
videre est in Divo Martino, ubi quoque archigalli 
dicuntur. Id autem est huiusmodi: D. M. c. 
CAMERIUS CRESCENS ARCHIGALLUS {i\L\RTIS} 
<MATRIS> DEUM MAGNAE ID<A>EAE 15 , ET 
ATTIS PO. RO. etc. Meminit hums epitaphii 



signifying homou - together. When this same word has an 
alpha with privative meaning, indicates unmarried, that's 
why we read in Athenaeus* that Minerva* is called 
alektora in the passage where Pompeianus the sophist, 
being that the Panathenaic* festival was celebrated when 
law court trials are suspended, was saying: ghenethlios esti tes 
alektoros Athenas, kai ddikos e tetes hemera - it is the birthday 
of Athena* alektoros - the virgin - and this is an unjust day. 

By Ion of Chios* the aulbs, i.e. the flute, is called alektor 
because through the sweetness of the sound it calls from 
their bed those who hear it, that is, does not allow them 
to sleep. Hence also the sun is called elektor - shining sun - 
by Homer*, because it makes men dlektrous, i.e. it causes 
them to leave their bed, or better, because the sun itself is 
alektros, that is, always vigilant, i.e. never going to bed nor 
resting. 

Finally, alektor is a gem* in Pliny*; about what I shall 
speak later under the paragraph Denominations: because 
some codices of Pliny read alektoras and others alektoreias. 

As Qumtilian* left written, also gallus is an ambiguous 
word; he says: It is uncertain whether it means a bird, a people, a 
personal name*, or a state of the human body. First of all were 
called GalB those extolled priests* devoted to the worship 
of Cybele*. As testified by Jean Brodeau*, Iulius 
Firmicus* called them archigalli. At Rome one can see an 
epitaph in St. Martin's church*, and here too they are 
called archigalli. It runs as follows: D. M. C. Camerius 
Crescens* Archigallus Matris Deum Magnae 
Idaeae ET Attis* po. Ro. etc. Giglio Gregono Giraldi* 
mentioned this epitaph, who also reports Tertullian's* 
words about a certain chief of the priests of Cybele. On 



9 Deipnosophistai III,53,98b. 

10 I assume that Aldrovandi is speaking of Ion of Chios here, but I can find nothing about the flute in the testimonia on Ion 
carefully collected by Felix Jacoby, Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker, III B (Leiden, Brill, 1950), 276-84, XV. Chios 392. Ion of 
Chios, nor in the fragments of his poems in E. Diehl Anthologia Fjrica Graeca I (1936) 83-87. The reference is found in Athenaeus, 4. 
184& Ion in his Phoenix or Caeneus (Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 740, ed. by A. Nauck). (Lind, 1963) - II frammento di lone di 
Chio si trova in TGF (Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta) 740N 2 , riportato correttamente da Lind. — Lind avrebbe potuto evitare questa 
laboriosa ricerca se avesse avuto tra le mani Conrad Gessner, FListoria Animalium III (1555), pag. 402: Ion Tragicus tibiam quoque 
aAsKTopa dixit, quod propter soni eius suavitatem auditores AsysaScu, id est dormire nolint, Eustathius. 

11 Lorenzo Rocci (Vocabolario Greco-Italiano): elektor significa il sole in Iliade 6,513. Quindi Lind cade in errore traslitterando il testo di 
Aldrovandi relativo a elektor in alektor, una traslitterazione che non gli permette cosi di reperire il riferimento all'Iliade citato 
correttamente da Aldrovandi: «Homer Battle of the Frogs and the Mice 191-92: "I lay sleepless, my head aching, until the cock crowed." 
This is the only use of the "word alektor in Homer and nothing is said in reference to the sun. (Lind, 1963)». 

12 Naturalis FListoria XXXVII,144: Alectorias vocant in ventriculis gallinaceorum inventas crystallina specie, magnitudine fabae, 
quibus Milonem Crotoniensem usum in certaminibus invictum fuisse videri volunt. 

13 Institutio oratorio VII, 9,11: Singula adferunt errorem cum pluribus rebus aut hominibus eadem appellatio est (<h>omonymia 
dicitur), ut "gallus" avem an gentem an nomen an fortunam corporis significet incertum est, [...] (www.thelatinlibrary.com) 

14 De errore prof anarum religionum 27.8. 

15 Ida: alta catena dell' Asia Minore, che dalla Frigia si estende attraverso la Misia (quindi anche attraverso la Troade); la sua vetta piu 
alta, detta Gargara, era celebre per il culto di Cibele. Idaeus: dell'Ida. La Idaea mater o parens deum (deorum) era Cibele. Ida: antico 
nome del monte Kazdag (1774 m), nella Turchia nord-occidentale, 60 km a SE di Troia, da cui nascono i fiumi Scamandro e 
Simoenta. Vi sorgeva un tempio famoso alia dea Cibele, detta anche Idea. Secondo la mitologia vi awennero il rapimento di 
Ganimede e l'episodio del giudizio di Paride. 



{Grysaldus} <Gyraldus> 16 , qui Tertulliani 17 

etiam verba de quodam Archigallo 18 

repetit{:} <.> Caeterum Galli sacerdotes ita 

dictos volunt a flumine eiusdem nominis, cuius 

tarn admirandam vim esse commenti sunt prisci, 

nimirum quod parce potus et cerebrum purget, 

et msaniam tollat: contra largion manu haustus 

lymphaticos, et msanos reddat. Plinius 19 quidem 

hos sacerdotes ab hoc fluvio nomen traxisse 

scnbit: sed tarn admirandae facultatis minime 

meminit. Alii sacerdotes illos mox a potu 

eiusmodi aquae furore correptos fuisse 

memorant, atque se ipsos castravisse, id vero 

citra vitae dispendium facere non potuisse, nisi 

Samia testa uterentur. Meminit Ovidius 20 : 

"Curigitur Gallos, qui se excidere vocamus{ ?} <,> 

Cum tantum a Phrigia Gallica distet humus?" 

"Inter" ait "liridem Cybelen, altasque {Selenas} 

<Celaenas> 

Amnis it insana nomine Gallus aqua. 

Qui bibit inde, furit: procul hinc discedite, queis est 

Cura bonae mentis, qui bibit inde furit. " 

Quidam 21 Galium puerum putaverunt, qui 
contracta offensa Deae se execuerit, et simul 
fluvio nomen fecerit. Fluvium ilium in 
Sangarium evolvi nescius non sum: at minime 
credam tarn noxiam fluminis vim fuisse, ut 
homines, vel funbundos redderet, vel enecaret. 
Quantum vero vinum semper habuennt ad 



the other hand the Galli priests claim to be so called from 
a river of the same name* whose strength the ancients 
imagined to be so extraordinary because just a very small 
drink of it both purges the brain and dispels insanity: on 
the contrary, a drink done with more generous hand 
makes furious and mad. Pliny indeed writes that these 
priests have drawn the name from this river, but he does 
not in the least mention a such amazing power. Others 
are relating that those priests were immediately seized by 
fury in drinking such a water, and that they castrated 
themselves, but they could not have done this without 
losing their life, unless they had used a Samian* 
earthenware pot. Ovid* said: 

"Why then we call Galli those who castrate themselves, 

being that the Gallic land is so far from Phrygia?*' " 

"Between the green mount Cybele* " she says "and the lofty - town 

of- Celaenae* 

flows a river named Gallus whose water is deranging. 

He who drinks from it goes mad: get far away from here you to 

whom 
it does matter to have a sound mind, he who drinks from it becomes 

frantic. " 

Some people thought that Gallus was a boy who, having 
offended the Goddess, castrated himself, and at the same 
time gave his name to the river. I am quite aware that that 
river is pouring into the Sangarius* : but I am not inclined 
at all to believe that the strength of the river was so evil to 
make men incensed or to kill them. Whoever is ignorant 
of how many importance had the empty superstitions for 



16 Giglio Gregorio Giraldi, Historiae Deorum Gentilium Syntagma IV (Basileae, Oporinus 1548) pag.191: {Epitaphium} <Epitaphius> 
est Romae in S. {Martina} <Martino> in montibus, dignum ut hie ascribatur: D. M. C. Camerius Crescens Archigallus Matris 
Deum Magnae Idaeae et Attis Po. Ro. Vivus Sibi Fecit et Camerio Eucrati<a>no Lib. Suo. C{a}eteris autem Libertis Utriusque 
Sexus Loca Singula Sepulturae Causa. H.M.H.<E.>N.S. [...] Ridet Tertullianus <Apologeticus 25,5> his verbis eum qui pro Caesare 
precabatur, qui iam defunctus erat. M. Aurelio, inquit, apud Sirmium reipublicae exempto, die XVI. Kalend. April. Archigallus ille 
sanctissimus die nono Kalend. earundem, quo sanguinem impurum lacertosque castrando libabat, pro salute Imperatoris Marci iam 
intercepti. — D.M. sta per Dis Manibus, cioe, agli dei Mani*. - II testo dell'iscrizione riferito da Aldrovandi e quello di Giraldi e stato 
emendato grazie al Professor Andrea Pellizzari (Grava — AL) che ha tratto dal Corpus Inscriptionum l^atinarum* 'VI, Pars I (1876), No. 
2183 quanto segue: C(aius) Camerius Crescens Archigallus Matris Deum Magnae Idaeae et Attis populi Romani vivus sibi fecit et 
Camerio Eucratiano lib(erto) suo ceteris autem libertis utriusque sexus loca singula sepulturae H.M.H.E.N.S. fh(oc) m(onumentum) 
h(eredem) e(xternum) n(on) s(equetur)] — Atti era un pastore frigio amato da Cibele. 

17 Apologeticus 25,5: Scilicet ista merces a Romanis deis pro gratia expensa est. Sterculus et Mutunus et Larentina provexit imperium. 
Peregrinos enim deos non putem extraneae genti magis fautum voluisse quam suae, et patrium solum, in quo nati, adulti, nobilitati 
sepultique sunt, transfretanis dedisse. Viderit Cybele, si urbem Romanam ut memoriam Troiani generis adamavit, vernaculi sui 
scilicet adversus Achivorum arma protecti, si ad ultores transire prospexit, quos sciebat Graeciam Phrygiae debellatricem 
subacturos. Itaque maiestatis suae (scilicet Cybelis) in urbem conlatae grande documentum nostra etiam aetate proposuit, cum 
Marco Aurelio apud Sirmium subito interempto die sexto decimo Kalendarum Aprilium archigallus ille sanctissimus die nono 
Kalendarum earundem, quo sanguinem inpurum lacertos quoque castrando libabat, pro salute Marci iam intercepti solita aeque 
imperia mandavit. 

18 II vocabolo ha il significato di "capo di sacerdoti di Cibele", non e un nome proprio di persona. 

19 Naturalis Historic! V,147: Attingit Galatia et Pamphyliae Cabaliam et Milyas qui circa Barim sunt et Cyllanicum et Oroandicum 
Pisidiae in ea praeter iam dicta Saggarium et Gallus, a quo nomen traxere Matris deum sacerdotes. 

20 Fasti IV, 361-366: 'Cur igitur Gallos qui se excidere vocamus, | cum tanto a Phrygia Gallica distet humus?' | 'Inter' ait 'viridem 
Cybelen altasque Celaenas | amnis it insana, nomine Gallus, aqua. | Qui bibit inde, furit: procul hinc discedite, qu<e>is est | cura 
bonae mentis: qui bibit inde, furit.' (wwvv.thelatinlibrary.com) 

21 Stefano Bizantino, s. v. Gallos, Erodiano, Peri mon. lex. I 11.2, Suida, Strabone, Platone ecc. - Erodiano: storico greco (Siria sec. II- 
III). Visse a Roma e compose una storia dell'impero dalla morte di Marco Aurelio a Gordiano III (180-238), in 8 libri. 



homines dementandos vanae superstitiones qui 
nescit, is alienus non modo ab omni historiarum 
lectione, sed vitae etiam communis usu. Unde 
etiam proverbialiter dicimus 22 TdAlXouc; ti 
Tejiveig, id est, Gallos quid execas 23 , pro quid 
actum agis. 

A quibus sacerdotibus quam bene Baptista Pius, 
ut id obiter dicamus, Gallos populos per 
{convitium} <convicium> Romanorum nomen 
fuisse adeptos colligat, ipse vident: quasi scilicet, 
quod exectorum hominum nomina haberent. 



Quis obsecro [185] tarn vecors, tarn communis 
sensus expers, ut sic cogitet Gallos perpetuo 
Romani nominis hostes nomen sibi, vel 
accipere, vel retinere voluisse, quod hostium 
contumelia imposuisset? Quod si tamen quis 
ita sentiat, ego eum non testiculis profecto, sed 
cerebro carere dixerim. Neminem interim 
latere existimo, Gallos Europae populos a 
candore dictos a Gala, quae vox lac Latinis 
dicitur. Nam montes, et rigor Caeli ab ea parte 
Solis ardorem excludunt, ut eorum corpora 
non {colerentur} <colorentur> 24 . 

Persarum milites Cares Gallos nuncupabant 25 , 
ob conos, quibus galeas ornatas habebant, 
eaque de causa {Artoxerses} <Artaxerses> 
hominem e Caria, qui {Cirum} <Cyrum> 
laculo vulnerasse creditus est, eo cohonestavit 
praemio, ut Galium aureum in lancea 
praefixum ante aciem ferret. Verum 
Athenaeus 26 Gallos scribit in Perside primum 



driving men crazy is unacquainted not only with reading 
historical works - with the lesson coming from historical 
events, but also with a common experience of life. Hence 
also in a proverb we say Gdllous ti temneis, i.e., why do you 
castrate the Galli* - priests, instead of saying why do you 
do something already done. 

To say it incidentally, everyone might judge how correctly 
Baptista Pius* is concluding that the peoples of the 
Gauls* had obtained the name from these priests by an 
insult of the Romans: that is, so to speak, because they 
had the name of castrated men. 



Page 185 

Please, who is so silly, so devoid of common sense, as 
to suppose that Gauls*, always enemies of the Roman 
people, should have wished either to accept or to retain 
a name that had attached to them an insult by enemies? 
If somebody is however thinking in such a way, I 
should take the liberty of saying that without any doubt 
he is lacking not testicles, but brain. Anyway I think that 
no one is in ignorance of the fact that European 
peoples of Gauls are so called from the snowy 
whiteness, from gala, a word which in Latin is said lac - 
milk. For the mountains and the harsh climate keep 
away the fierce heat of the sun from those regions, so 
that their bodies don't get tanned. 

Persian soldiers called roosters the Carians* because of 
the crests by which their helmets were adorned, and for 
this reason Artaxerxes II* honored a Carian man, 
believed to have wounded Cyrus the Younger* with a 
javelin, by such a reward that he was carrying in front of 
the battle line a golden cock stuck on the top of a staff. 
On the contrary Athenaeus* writes that the cocks first 
originated in Persis* and thus perhaps the Persians got 



22 Conrad Gessner in Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 402, riporta, come e logico, Gallons con la iniziale maiuscola, per cui 
correggiamo Aldrovandi clie stavolta usa la minuscola. Si vede che la G maiuscola la usava solo per termini latini, generando cosi 
confusione quando in alcuni passi e problematico identificare il gallo o i Galli — i Francesi — oppure i Galli — i sacerdoti di Cibele — e 
chi piu ne ha piu ne metta. 

23 Gdllous ti temneis (cfr. Leutsch-Schneidewin, Appendix Proverbiorum, in Leutsch-Schneidewin P aroemiographi Graeci I 67, Gallisti 
temnein) . 

24 Questa etimologia e del tutto infondata: gallus, Gallia, derivano da una radice che ha i suoi esiti linguistici nell'irlandese gall- 
'straniero', nel cimbrico gall- (idem), nel gallico gallus, Gallia. 

25 Plutarco*, Artaxerses 10,3. - [10] Dinon then affirms that, after the death of Artagerses, Cyrus, furiously attacking the guard of 
Artaxerxes, "wounded the king's horse, and so dismounted him, and "when Teribazus had quickly lifted him up upon another, and 
said to him, "O king, remember this day, "which is not one to be forgotten," Cyrus, again spurring up his horse, struck down 
Artaxerxes. But at the third assault the king being enraged, and saying to those near him that death "was more eligible, made up to 
Cyrus, "who furiously and blindly rushed in the face of the "weapons opposed to him. So the king struck him "with a javelin, as 
likewise did those that "were about him. And thus Cyrus falls, as some say, by the hand of the king; as others by the dart of a Carian, 
to whom Artaxerxes for a reward of his achievement gave the privilege of carrying ever after a golden cock upon his spear before 
the first ranks of the army in all expeditions. For the Persians call the men of Caria cocks, because of the crests "with which they 
adorn their helmets, (translated by John Dryden) 

26 Deipnosophista/~KIV ,70,655a - Si tratta di un'ennesima dimostrazione di come le citazioni propinate da Aldrovandi siano aleatorie e 
capaci di costringere a dichiarare che quanto affermato da Ateneo non esiste. Infatti Lind cosi si esprime: No such reference 
appears in Athenaeus so far as I can discover, although the rooster is called the Persian bird in 9. 374d. Aristophanes is the more 



ortos, ideoque fortasse cognomentum id 
Persae accepennt, vel ab Alectryone, quern eis 
pnmum imperasse paulo ante diximus 27 : Unde 
et Aristophanes, ut ems est mos omnes 
llludere, Galium ait Persis olim praefuisse, 
atque hmc cristatos adhuc gerere cassides: 
verba Anstophanis alias citabo. 

Gallus item quidam Centaurus fuit, a quo 
secundum Pincernam regium eximie amatum 
fuisse author est {Nicander} 28 <Aelianus>. 
Nunquid autem Centaurus idem fuent cum 
Centoarato, de quo sic memmit Aelianus 29 : 
Antiochi equus, ut dominum suum 
ulcisceretur, Gallo nomine Centoarati, qui 
Antiochum in pugna interfecerat, necem 
lntulit, difficile est mdicare. Est etiam Gallus 
Imperatoris nomen, cui Constantius magni 
Constantini films Caesaris dignitatem 
concessit. Sed cum compensset, hunc regnum 
adfectare, ad tyrannidem proruere, nihil non 
molin, quo voti compos fieret, omni conatu 
ems anteverso, caput ei praecidi curavit: deinde 
Galli fratrem, porcum ilium foetidum, 
Iulianum corona Cesarea cohonestavit, ut 
narrat Constanti<n>us Manasses 30 . Alii vero 
Galium ilium longe antiquiorem faciunt, et 
simul cum Volusiano Decio in imperio 



that nickname, or from Alectryon, who, as I said shortly 
before, has been their first ruler: whence Aristophanes*, 
as it is his custom to mock everyone, says that once a 
cock ruled Persians, and that's why they are still wearing 
crested helmets: I shall quote Aristophanes words 
another time. 



Alike there was a cock called Centaur*, by which, 
according to Nicander * Aelian*, a servant royal cup 
bearer was uncommonly loved. On the other hand it is 
difficult to judge whether the Centaur* was 
corresponding to Centoarates* mentioned by Aelian as 
follows: the horse of Antiochus I Soter*, in order to 
avenge his master, slew a Gaul - a Galatian - named 
Centoarates who had killed Antiochus in battle. Gallus 
Constantius* is also the name of an emperor, to whom 
Constantius IP, son of Constantine the Great*, 
bestowed the Caesar's dignity. But when he learned that 
he was endeavoring in order to achieve the supremacy 
and that he was throwing himself into the tyranny, that 
anything was plotting in order to see his aspirations 
realized, Constantius, after he got the upper hand over 
any attempt of him, arranged his head cut off: then he 
honored with the Caesar's crown the brother of Gallus, 
that stinking pig Julian Apostate*, as Constantinus 
Manasses* relates. To tell the truth others are thinking 
that that Gallus was far more ancient - Trebomanus* - 



likely source. (Lind, 1963) § Aldrovandi ha tratto la citazione da Gessner cambiando natos in ortos, amputando pero Menodoto di 
Samo, che e indispensabile se vogliamo localizzare la Perside in Ateneo, salvo conoscere Ateneo a memoria. Vediamo prima 
Gessner e poi Ateneo. Ci accorgeremo che Lind ha pienamente ragione. § Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 381: 
Gallinaceos (alektryonas, pro toto genere) aiunt in Perside primum natos, atque inde alio deportatos esse, Menodotus Samius apud 
Athenaeum. § Ateneo Deipnosophistai XIV,70,655a: Mr|v68oTOC, 8'6 Sdvnoq EV TCp Ttepl TCOV icatd TO vspov xf\C, Savnac, 
"Hpac, cprjavv 'ov Taol vspov evav xf\c, "Hpaq. iced pfproTe TtpcoTvatov iced syevovto iced eTpdcprjaav ev Sdvvco iced evtsuBev 
sve, rove, 8§co xoxovc, 8vs866rjaav, cbc, iced ov dAeictpuovsc, sv trj LTspavSv iced av KaAouvvsvav vveAeaj>pv8sc, sv Trj 
AvTCOAVa.' - Menodoto di Samo nel trattato relativo alle cose che riguardano il tempio di Era di Samo dice: "I pavoni sono 
consacrati a Era. E forse i primi fra tutti ebbero origine e furono allevati in Samo e da qui si diffusero all'estero, come anche i galli 
in Perside e le cosiddette meleagridi in Etolia." (traduzione di Elio Corti, 2007) - Menodotus the Samian also, in his treatise On the 
Treasures in the Temple of the Samian Hera, says: "The peacocks are sacred to Hera; and perhaps Samos may be the place "where they 
"were first produced and reared, and from thence it "was that they "were scattered abroad over foreign countries, in the same "way as 
cocks were originally produced in Persia, and the birds called guinea-fowl (vvsAsaj>pv§S<5) in Aetolia." (translated by C.D.Yonge, 
1854) 

27 A pagina 184. 

28 The reference to Nicander is a false one since there is no mention of Gallus in the latest edition of his Theriaca and Alexipharmaca 
by A. S. F. Gow and A. F. Scholfield (Cambridge University Press, 1953); both stories of Gallus and Centoarates are in Aelian. 
(Lind, 1963) - Infatti non e Nicandro, bensi Eliano, Ta natura degli animali XII 37, la fonte del gallo di nome Centauro: Un gallo di 
nome Centauro si innamoro del coppiere di un re (il re era Nicomede di Bitinia). Questa storia ci e stata tramandata da Filone. 
(traduzione di Francesco Maspero) — La causa dell'errata citazione attribuita a Nicandro e Gessner, ma la causa prima e Lodovico 
Ricchieri*, come possiamo desumere da Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 385: Auctor Nicander est, Secundum, 
qui pincerna regius fuit in Bithynia, a gallo amatum eximie cui nomen foret Centaurus, Caelius. 

29 Ta natura degli animali, VI,44. - Cfr. Plinio, Naturalis historia VIII,158: Phylarchus refert Centaretum e Galatis, in proelio occiso 
Antiocho, potitum equo eius conscendisse ovantem, at ilium indignatione accensum domitis frenis, ne regi posset, praecipitem in 
abrupta isse exanimatumque una. 

30 Constantius [Constantinus] Manasses (c. A.D. 1143-80), Byzantine historian. The first edition of his Annales (ed. by J. 
Leunclavius) "was published at Basle in 1573. The same author's TListoriae "were edited by I. Bekker in the Corpus Scriptorum TListoriae 
By^antinae at Bonn in 1837. As the Synopsis of History (Compendium Chronicum), they also appear in Patrologia Graeca, Vol. 127 (J. P. 
Migne, 1857J, chapter 49 (ed. by J. Leunclavius). (Patrologia Graecais hereafter cited as P. G.J. (Lind, 1963) 



successisse scribunt, imperioque biennium et 
menses octo potitum fuisse. 

Quidam cognomento Milo Gallus dicebatur, 
qui Caroli Calvi temponbus floruit, et ad eum 
ipsum quae de sobrietate carmina conscripsit, 
misit. Condidit et Sancti Amandi{s} vitam, 
cuius caenobii ipse Antistes fuit anno post 
partum salutiferum 880. Est et Gallus Sancti 
Confessoris nomen, ut refert Beda 31 , cuius vita 
plena virtutibus conscnpta habeatur. Erat 
autem beati martins Ignatii diaconus, qui 
episcopus factus viam magistn pius imitator 
sequutus, pro commendato grege, Christi 
amato<r> occubuit. Fuit et Gallus alius 
Columbani abbatis discipulus. Hie et 
Hildeboldus diaconus pisciculos, quos de 
flumine reticulo traxerant in solitudine assaturi, 
ignem concinnabant, cum interim ursus mirae 
magnitudmis <qui> propius accedens 
diaconum quidem terruisset, iubente Gallo, ut 
ligna igni inferret, obedivit, ut Marcus Marulus 
Spalatensis 32 memoriae prodidit. Quod sane 
hie referendum duximus, ut qui praepositis 
suis reniti audent, tali exemplo magis 
confundantur, quando, et sylvestres ferae iussa 
sanctorum revereantur, et observent. 

Hermolaus 33 mbas, et capillos Graecis 
alectondas dici assent. Et mola matricis 
Sylvatico 34 Gallus matricis dicitur, forte ob 
similitudinem. Nam et Amatus Lusitanus 35 
meminit cuiusdam muliens, quae geminos 



and write that he succeeded to the empire together with 
Volusianus* Decius* [?] and that he seized power for 
two years and eight months. 

Someone, who stood out in the time of Charles the 
Bald*, was named Milo Gallus* and just to him he 
dedicated the poetry he had written on sobnety. He also 
wrote a life of Saint Amandus*, of whose monastery he 
himself was prior in the year 880 [?] after the rescuer 
delivery - of Mary. As Bede* tells us, Gallus* is also the 
name of a holy confessor, whose biography would be 
overflowing of virtuous acts. In fact — Heron* - was 
deacon of the blessed martyr Ignatius*, and when 
became bishop he followed the way of his master as a 
scrupulous imitator, and being fond of Christ he fell for 
the flock entrusted to him. And another Gallus* was 
pupil of abbot Columbanus*. He and the deacon 
Hildebold were building the fire in a lonely place to 
roast some little fish they had pulled out from a river by 
a small net; at that moment a bear of uncommon size, 
who in approaching frightened the deacon, obeyed 
Gallus who was ordering to him to add wood to the 
fire, as Marcus Marulus* from Spalato has recorded. We 
have refened that just at this point, in order that those 
who dare to set themselves against their superiors 
should more be troubled by such an event, since also 
wild animals observe the biddings of saints and follow 
them. 

Hermolaus Barbarus* asserts that manes and hair are 
called akctoridas* by Greeks. Also the uterine mole* - 
maternal mole* - is called uterine cock - maternal cock - 
by Matthaeus Sylvaticus*, perhaps because of a 
similarity. For also Amatus Lusitanus* - alias Joao 



31 Martyrologium. (Aldrovandi) - Per motivi pratici - e per non creare eccessiva confusione - si emenda solo parzialmente il testo di 
Aldrovandi: amator invece di amato. Sta di fatto clie il testo di Aldrovandi da vita a un nuovo santo: San Gallo, ex diacono di 
Sant'Ignazio vescovo di Antiochia. Questo novello San Gallo, anch'egli vescovo di Antiochia, non e mai esistito. Per la discussione 
relativa a questa trovata di Ulisse si rimanda alia voce Erone* del lessico. Ecco il testo di Beda - inspiegabilmente amputate da 
Aldrovandi - tratto dal Martyrologium e contenuto in Patrologia Latina curata da Jacques-Paul Migne (Parigi, 1850, pag. 1074, vol. 94): 
B. XVII Calend. Novemb. — Depositio sancti Galli confessoris, cujus vita plena virtutibus conscripta habetur. Apud Lugdunum 
beati Antiochi episcopi. Apud Viennam sancti Theodati episcopi, item Heronis, qui post beatum Ignatium Antiochenam rexit 
Ecclesiam. Erat enim hie beati martyris Ignatii diaconus; qui episcopus factus, viam magistri pius imitator sequitur, et pro 
commendato grege amator Christi occubuit. 

32 Marco Marulo of Spalato in Dalmatia (A.D. 1450-1524) "was the chief Renaissance humanist of the region; his Slavic name is 
Marulic He "wrote much on religion in Latin; his De Institutione Bene Beateque Vivendi was published in 1506 and edited by D. Agricola 
at Basle in 1513. The De Obedientia Servanda does not appear as a separate title in the British Museum Catalogue of Printed Books. (Lind, 
1963) -Prob abilmente il IV libro del De Institutione Bene Beateque Vivendi parla proprio dell'obbedienza. 

33 Hermolaus Barbarus (A.D. 1454-93), patriarch of Aquileia and a friend of Pico della Mirandola, boasted that he had corrected 
five thousand errors in the text of Pliny, "whose text he edited in 1489, with subsequent editions in 1497, 1511, 1518, 1525, 1536, 
1669, 1778. He wrote Castigationes Plinianas (Rome, 1492; Cremona, 1497; Rome? 1500? and Basle, 1534). He also edited Aristotle 
and Dioscorides, among other authors. (Lind, 1963) 

34 Matthaeus Silvaticus Opus Pandedarum Medicinae (Mantua, 1474, 1475; Venice, 1480, 1488, 1498, 1499, 1511; Turin, 1526; Leyden, 
1534, 1541). The many editions indicate the popularity of this "work and others cited by Aldrovandi. (Lind, 1963) 

35 L. 1 curat, med. (Aldrovandi) - Amatus Lusitanus: a pseudonym for Joao Rodriguez do Castello [Castelo] Branco, who wrote 
Curationum Medicinalium Centuria Secunda, Venice, 1552; idem, Centuriae Quatuor, etc., Basle, 1556; various editions: Venice, 1557; 
Leyden, 1564, 1570; Bordeaux, 1620; Venice, 1653; Index Dioscoridis, Antwerp, 1536; In Dioscoridis de medica materia libros quinque 
enarrationes, Strassburg, 1554; Venice, 1557; Leyden, 1558. See footnote below on P. A. Matthiolus' edition of Dioscorides and its 
accompanying attack on Amatus Lusitanus. (Lind, 1963) 



utero gestans quinto mense abortivit, et tertia a 
pnmo abortu die frustum quoddam carnis 
emisit, Galli cristae cum rostro Gallinaceo 
simile. 



Piscis quidam ad oceanum Germanicum 
Gobiis congener, Germanis ut audio Seehan 36 , 
id est, Gallus marinus dicitur. Verum et bina 
alia aquatilia animantia eiusdem nominis 
repeno, piscem nempe alium, et quoddam 
genus e crustaceis. Piscis enim Plinio 37 
Z<a>eus dictus, et Faber, Hispanis, et 
Monspeliensibus, teste doctissimo Rondoletio, 
Gal appellatur, Santonibus, et Baionensibus 
Iau, id est, Gallus a dorsi {pennis} <pinnis> 
surrectis, quemadmodum Gallorum 

Gallinaceorum cristae erigi solent. Romani 
hodie citulam dicunt et piscem Sancti Petri, 
quia iubente Christo D. Petrus hunc piscem 
ceperit, et in ems ore numisma pro tnbuto 
reperent: unde digitorum impressorum vestigia 
in medio corpore relicta fuerint. Recentioribus 
item Graecis xpuaocppug dicitur, aiuntque D. 
Christophorum, dum Christum humeris 
gestans mare traijceret, piscem hunc 
apprehendisse et impressa digitorum vestigia 
reliquisse. Est autem piscis iste ex sententia 
Rondoletn {\a\Keiq} <-^a\Kic,> Athenaei 38 a 
Chalcide dissidens, ut Deo dante suo loco 
aliquando docebimus. Donavit mihi nuperrime 
hunc piscem exiccatum admodum Rever. P. 
Ambr. Morandus Bonon. sacrae Theol. doctor 
eximius, Congreg. S. Salvatoris Gener. mihique 
amicissimus. Praetera Galium marinum idem 
Rondoletius, et Petrus Bellonius vocari 
asserunt lllud animal crustaceum, quod, 



Rodriguez do Castelo Branco - mentioned a certain 
woman who aborted in the fifth month while pregnant 
with twins, and on the third day after the first abortion 
she brought forth a piece of flesh resembling a cock's 
comb with a chicken's beak. 

As I hear, a certain fish of the same genus of the 
gobies* and living in the neighborhood of Germanic 
Ocean - North Sea, is called Seehahn by Germans, i.e., 
sea cock. However I'm finding also two other aquatic 
animals of the same name, and precisely one of them is 
a fish, and - the other - a certain genus of crustaceans. 
Well, the fish called %aeus* by Pliny*, as well as faber - 
smith, according to the very learned testimony of 
Guillaume Rondelet* is called gal by the Spaniards and 
the people of Montpellier, and by the Santones* and the 
people of Bayonne* it is called iau, i.e. cock, from the — 
fore - dorsal fin sticking up like the roosters' combs are 
used to stand up. Today the Romans call citula* also the 
fish of Saint Peter, because at Christ's bidding Saint 
Peter would have caught this fish and found in its 
mouth a com for tribute*: hence have been left the 
prints of fingers' pressure in the middle of its body. 
And furthermore it is called chrysophrys - gilthead* - by 
modern Greeks, and they assert that Saint Christopher*, 
while crossing the sea carrying Christ on his shoulders, 
caught this fish and there left fingerprints impressed. In 
the opinion of Rondelet this fish is the pilchard* of 
Athenaeus which is not corresponding to the chalcis* - 
chalcis, fish - as sooner or later I shall show in its proper 
place, God willing. Very recently the Very Reverend 
Father Ambrosio Morando [Morandi?] from Bologna, 
distinguished doctor of theology, General of the 
Congregation of the Saint Saviour and a very good 
friend of mine, gave me as a gift this dried fish. 
Furthermore Guillaume Rondelet and Pierre Belon* are 
stating that is called sea cock that crustacean animal 



36 Conrad Gessner, Historia Anim alium III (1555), pag. 404: Piscis quidam ad Oceanum Germanicum, gobiis congener, ex pictura 
coniicio, vulgo Seehan, id est gallus marinus vocitatur. - Gessner da la sua interpretazione del perche il ghiozzo e detto gallo di 
mare, Seehahn: perche si presenta screziato — ex pictura conijcio — come e screziato il mantello di piume di certi polli. In questo caso 
accade l'esatto contrario di quanta awiene per il polio dal piumaggio barrato. Nel caso del Seehan citato da Gessner il pesce, il 
ghiozzo (Gobius niger), diventa un gallo di mare screziato, speckled o mottled in inglese. Nel caso della variante crele del piumaggio 
barrato del polio, e invece il polio a diventare un pesce, cioe il polio sgombro, in quanta il termine crele fa proprio riferimento a un 
pesce, e precisamente alio sgombro comune - Scomber scombrus - die ha diversi sinonimi: scombro, lacerto, maccarello. Paragonando 
i due sgombri conosciuti — l'altro e lo sgombro spagnolo (Scomberomorus maculatus), che e maculato e non barrato - e proprio il 
maccarello a essere dotato della barratura trasversale migliore, e maccarello in tedesco suona in modo del tutto simile a crele, almeno 
nella grafia: Makrele. — Per ulteriori dati e per l'iconografia si veda Summa Gallicana 111,4,6 al paragrafo Crele*; 111,1,5.8 al paragrafo 
Screziato/ Speckled*-; 111,4,5 al paragrafo VomeWnto/ Mottled*. 

37 Pliny IX,68. The fish is also called John Dory. (Lmd, 1963) 

38 VII,137,328cdf - In questo passo di Ateneo chalkides sono le sardine, mentre l'orata (chrysophrys) e stata menzionata prima. La 
parola chalkeis riportata da Aldrovandi non e attestata. - Guillaume Rondelet, mentioned below, was a French physician and 
naturalist (1507-66); he set up the anatomical theater at Montpellier in 1556. He "wrote a large work on fish: De piscibus marinis 
(Lyons, 1554); Universae acquatilium historiae pars altera (Lyons, 1556); Opera Omnia Medica (ed. by J. Crocquer, Geneva, 1628). (Lind, 
1963) 



10 



Aristo teles apictov 39 , Latini similiter ursum ab 
actionibus, et monbus, quos exercet, appellant: 
ut nonnulli existimant: alii vero a figura ita dici 
volunt, nimirum, quod exterior forficis pars 
Galli Gallinacei figuram referat 40 . 

Hesychius, et Varinus 41 Upupam aXeictpuova 
vocarunt, haud dubio ob cristam, quam in 
capite gerit, ob quam etiam a Ligunbus Gallus 
Martii dicitur, eo quod lllo mense apud ipsos 
pnmum appareat. 



[186] Et Persae, ut Hermolaus nescio quo 
authore scnbit, Corvos Alectondas dicunt. 
Ornithologus 42 mendum subesse existimat. Sed 
forte Hermolaus ex Pausama 43 id decerpserit 
qui Gallos quidem Gallmaceos quosdam 
Coraxos 44 , id est atro Corvorum colore in 
Boeotia esse dixit. 

Sigmficat denique Gallus quaedam artificialia, 
ac in pnmis navem quandam praetonam, de 
qua eiusmodi ad Misenum {epitaphium} 
<epitaphius> legitur: D.M.C. IULIO QUARTO 
VET. EX{,} PR.<,> N. GALLO, M. 
C<A>ECILIUS. FELIX<S> { S.) <ET> 



which Aristotle* calls drkton* - bear, and the Latins 
likewise call bear from movements and behaviour: as 
some people think: on the contrary others claim that it 
is so called from the shape, because the extremity of its 
claw just reminds the shape of a rooster. 

Hesychius* and Varinus* called the hoopoe akktryoncf - 
cock, no doubt because of the crest it bears on head, 
owing to which it is called rooster of March also by 
Ligunans, because it first appears among them in that 
month. 

Page 186 

And the Persians, as Hermolaus Barbarus* writes, I 
don't know on what source, call crows as alectoridas* - 
hens. The Ornithologist — alias Conrad Gessner - 
believes that underneath there is an error. But possibly 
Hermolaus had drawn it from Pausanias*, who said that 
in Boeotia there are some coraxoi roosters, that is, they 
are of the crows' black color. 

Finally, gallus signifies certain things made by technical 
processes, and first of all a certain admiral's ship, about 
which such an epitaph can be read at Cape Misenum*: 
D.M.c. Iulio Quarto vet. ex pr., n. Gallo, M. 
Caecilius Felixs et Nonia Heraclia s. et s. A 
dialogue by the very brilliant writer Lucian* is entitled 



39 Arktos in greco denota in prima istanza l'orso, ma in Aristo tele Historia animalium 5,17,10 viene cosi chiamata una sorta di 
granchio di mare. 

40 Conrad Gessner ci fa sapere, grazie a Pierre Belon, che dovrebbe trattarsi del granchio di Eraclea. Ecco il testo di Historia 
Animalium III (1555), pag. 404: Cancer Heracleoticus vulgo apud Italos gallus marinus, gallo de mare, nominatur, quod eius chelae 
cristam galli referant, Pet. Bellonius. — Ma solo grazie a Rondelet possiamo sapere che il granchio di Eraclea di Belon corrisponde 
in effetti a quel granchio che Aristotele chiamava orso, CCp1CTO<5, pero Belon non lo dice assolutamente. Se non bastasse, il granchio 
di Eraclea di Rondelet non ha quasi nulla da spartire con l'omonimo di Belon che invece e il sosia del granchio orso di Rondelet a 
sua volta sosia del granchio orso di Aristotele (quasi certamente la Calappa granulata, sottordine Brachyura). Aldrovandi ha fatto di 
ogni erba un fascio, oppure ha scandagliato a fondo la problematica. E piu verosimile che abbia preso un ennesimo granchio, 
facendo dire a Belon cio che mai scrisse: che cioe il suo granchio gallo di mare, o granchio di Eraclea, corrispondeva al granchio 
orso di Aristotele. — Se non credete alle mie considerazioni, che una volta di piu squalificano Aldrovandi, date uno sguardo ai testi 
originali di Belon e Rondelet riportati alia voce Granchio di Eraclea* del lessico. 

41 Hesychius' lexicographical "work is edited by M. Schmidt (Jena, 1858-61), in two volumes; by Kurt Latte, new edition, I (1953) at 
Copenhagen. Varinus (Favorinus, Phavorinus), bishop of Nocera Camelana [Corti: today Nocera Umbra (PG), the old Nuceria 
Camellaria\, published his Greek lexicon at Rome, 1523. Its Greek title can be translated thus: The Large and Very Helpful Lexicon 
Which Garinos Phavorinus Kamers... Collected from Many Different Books and Set Down Alphabetically; at the Press of Zacharios Kalliergos. There 
is an edition by J. Camerarius (Basle, 1538-41), and another by A. Bortoli, (Venice, 1712). 

42 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 404: Persae etiam corvos alectoridas vocant, Hermolaus nescio quo authore. 
Pausanias quidem in Boeotia gallinaceos quosdam coraxos, id est atro corvorum colore esse scribit. 

43 Se ne riparlera a pagina 192. - Pausania Periegesi della Grecia IX, BEOZIA, 22. 4. "Here [in Tanagra] there are two breeds of cocks, 
the fighters and the blackbirds, as they are called. The size of these blackbirds is the same as that of the Lydian birds, but in colour 
they are like crows [like a crow - koraki = to a crow], while "wattles and comb are very like the anemone. They have small, white 
markings on the end of the beak and at the end of the tail." (translation by W.H.S. Jones) - "Qui [a Tanagra] ci sono due razze di 
galli, i combattenti e i merli, come sono chiamati. Le dimensioni di questi merli sono le stesse di quelle degli uccelli [dei polli, delle 
galline] della Lidia, ma nel colore essi sono simili a un corvo[koraki\, mentre i bargigli e la cresta sono molto simili all' anemone; essi 
posseggono dei piccoli segni bianchi sulla punta del becco e all'estremita della coda." (traduzione Elio Corti) - "Eotv 5s K(x! ysvn §ijo 
svtai38a dAsKTpuovcov, oi te ji&xijioi Ka! oi Koaaucpoi KaAoujisvoi. Toutcov tcbv Koamjcpoov jieysSoc; jisv Kara touc; AuSouc; strew 
opvi8ac;, xpoa 5e e|icpspr|c; Kopaia, xdXXaia 5s ml 6 Aoepoc; Kcrtd dvsjiGovnv y,aXiaxa- \evxa 5s anjisia ov jisydAa sort te aicpcp tcp 
pdjicpsi Ka! sat! aicpac; e^ovai Trjc; oupdc;. 

44 L'aggettivo greco koraxos significa del colore del corvo, di colore nero. II sostantivo korax, genitivo korakos, denota il corvo. 



11 



{IJNONIA HERACLIA S. ET{.} S. 45 {Gallus et 
somnium} <Somnium vel Gallus> inscribitur 
quidam Luciani luculentissimi authoris 
dialogus 46 , quo divitiarum, atque potentiae 
mcommoda, molestiasque prosequitur, 
ostendens, quam contra tranquilla res 
paupertas sit, si modo sua sorte sit contenta. In 
posteriore autem parte Gallus, qui ex 
Pythagora in avem transformatus cum hero 
suo Micyllo colloquens introducitur, divitum 
cum privatorum, ac civium, turn regum, ac 
potent<i>um molestias, curas, et pericula 
recenset, quae illis et belli, et pacis temporibus, 
praeterea etiam circa valetudinem, quam luxus 
istae et crapulae labefactant, accidere solent. 

Postremo, ut et de Gallims aliquid dicamus, 
rustici Pleiades Stellas Graecis dictas, et 
Atlantides, Latinis Vergilias, Gallmas vocant, et 
plenque {Butrionem} <Botryonem>, Angli 
nempe, id est, Gallmam habentem pullos vulgo 
Bruothenn. Hanc constellationem Hebraei 
KH3T Zaghta vocant, et Galli la {Poussiniere} 
<Poussiniere>. In dictionano tnlmgui EPX7 
aysch, vel E71X7 pro eodem sidere legitur. 
Gallma nigra apud chimicos est argentum 
vivum. 

SYNONYMA 

Varias quidem nomenclaturas, quibus apud 
Graecos potissimum, ac Hebraeos Gallus 
Gallmaceus venit, est reperire. "HDK? Secheui in 
pnmis legitur apud D. lob 47 , ubi dicitur: Quis 
dedit Secheui intelligentiam? Sanctes Pagninus in 
biblns maioribus Ven. anni 1515. "'"Dtyb 
Lasecheui legi scnbit, et in nostris alns 
exemplaribus Michel esse. Sonat 

imaginationem in mente {caelatum} 
<celatam>, cogitationem, intellectum. Plerique 



The dream or the cock, where he is dealing with 
inconveniences and troubles following wealth and 
power, demonstrating on the contrary how much the 
poverty is a peaceful situation, if only it is satisfied with 
its state. Moreover in the late part - of the dialogue - the 
cock, turned into a bird starting from Pythagoras*, is set 
conversing with his master Micyllos and looks into 
troubles, cares, and dangers of rich men, not only of 
private citizens and subjects, but also kings and 
powerful men, things which are in the habit of 
happening in war and in peace time, moreover, also 
apropos of health, which luxury and those drunkenness 
are damaging. 



Finally, to say something about hens too, peasants call 
hens the stars called Pleiades* by Greeks, and Atlantides - 
Daughters of Atlas, Vetgiliae* by Latins, and many 
people, of course English - Angles*, call them Botryo*, 
that is, hen having chicks, commonly called Bmothenn* - 
brooding-hen. The Hebrews call this constellation 
Zaghta, and the French la Poussiniere - Chicks' incubator. 
In the trilingual dictionary aysch, or awsch, is read for the 
same star. The black hen among chemists is the 
quicksilver - the mercury. 

SYNONYMS 

Truly, it is possible to find various terms by which the 
Gallus Gallinaceus is appearing, especially among Greeks 
and Hebrews. First of all in Saint Job* we read secheui, 
where is said: Who has given intelligence to Secheui? Sanctes 
Pagninus* in Biblia Maiora, published in Venice in the 
year 1515, writes that Lasecheui is to be read, and that in 
our other copies it is Michel. It indicates imagination 
hidden in the mind, thought, intelligence. Most of the 
interpreters ascribe it to the heart. Rabbi* David asserts 
that it is deriving from the fact of looking at, seeing, and 



45 Si emenda in base a quanta dedotto dal Professor Andrea Pellizzari (Grava — AL) dal Corpus Inscriptionum I^atinarum* X, Pars I, 
No. 1759. D. M. C. Iulio Quarto vet(erano) ex pr(aetorio), n(atione) Gallo, M. Caecilius Felixs et Nonia Heraclia s(ibi) et s(uis). — D. 
M. sta per Dis Manibus, cioe, agli dei Mani*. - Circa l'abbreviazione N. esiste un'evidente discordanza d'interpretazione fra 
Aldrovandi e il Corpus Inscriptionum l^atinarum. Infatti Aldrovandi interpreta N. = nave/ navi, mentre il CIL lo interpreta con natione. A 
mio awiso si tratta di un'ennesima boutade di Aldrovandi, una boutade clie potrebbe anche non essere frutto della sua mente, ma 
dedotta da un qualche epigrafologo. E probabile clie questo Giulio Quarto fosse un veterano del pretorio* di stirpe gallica. La 
soluzione defmitiva del rebus la lascio nelle mani dei competenti. 

46 II sogno ovvero il gallo - Oneiros e alektryon - 15 - GALLO. Perche non conosci, Micillo, ed e questo il motivo per cui tu come la 
maggioranza delle persone vi sbagliate quanta ai ricchi. Questi ultimi, sappilo, vivono una vita molto piu disgraziata della nostra. Te 
lo dico io clie sono stato piu di una volta sia povero clie ricco, e ho avuto esperienza diretta di ogni genere di vita: ma fra un attimo 
tu pure sarai al corrente di tutto. 23 - GALLO . I ricchi, invece, vittime di una vita sregolata, hanno tutti i malanni, nessuno escluso; 
gotta deperimento pleurite ritenzione di liquidi sono conseguenza diretta di quei lauti banchetti. (traduzione di Claudio Consonni) - 
Ecco la brevissima citazione del dialogo di Luciano fatta da Conrad Gessner in Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 407: Gallus in 
Somnio Luciani fingit se olim Euphorbum, deinde Pythagoram fuisse. 

47 Vulgata, Job 38,36: Quis dedit gallo intelligentiam? - Giobbe 38,36: "Chi ha messo nelle nubi la sapienza, o chi ha data alle 
meteore l'intelligenza?" (La S acra Bibbia, Edizioni Paoline, 1958) 



12 



mterpretes traducunt cordi. Rabbi David 48 ab 
aspiciendo, et videndo derivari assent; et alibi, 
Doctores, inquit, Hebraeomm exponunt etiam Gallo; 
quod etiam Rabbi Simeon films Lakisch 
tradidit, teste Ioanne Reuclmo; atque ita D. 
Hieronymus vertit. Septuaginta vero, Quis dedit 
mulieribus texturae sapientiam, aut variegatam 
scientiam? Targhum, Quis dedit cordi intelligentiam? 
Alterum Targhum, Quis dedit Gallo Sylvestri 
intelligentiam, ut laudet dominum suum? Rab 
Abraham, Cordi? Rab Levi, intellectui? Rab 
Mosech, quis dedit Gallo intelligentiam, ut media 
nocte sutgere doceret hominem ad laudandum Deum? 
Ita quidem llle haec profert ex quodam 
Targhum Ierosolimitano in hunc locum, atque 
suis Rabbmis, sed de corde eos magis 
congruere asseverat. Sunt, inquit, Ormthologus 
ex quodam alio 49 , apud Hebraeos, qui vocem 
Sekui Tarnegul (hanc vocem Chaldaicam 50 esse 
conijcit) cuius ultima syllaba Germanic<a>e 
Galli nomenclaturae, nempe Gul congruit, id 
est, Galium mterpretantur 51 . Forte vero ita 
Gallus dictus fuerit vel ab animositate, quae in 
corde sedem suam potissimum habet, vel a 
visu, quern semper simul sursum Milvorum, et 
aliarum avium rapacium evitandarum causa, et 
deorsum ad victum intentum habet. 

In lexico trilmgui pro Gallo etiam legitur "HDD 
Sikui, et pro Gallma K"HDQ Sakuia, quae 
postrema vox in Syrochaldaico dictionano 
Gallus exponitur, ex Vaic. rab. cap. 26. Pro 
11313 barbur in libro Regum 52 , ubi 
legitur {.} <:> Excepta venatione cewomm, 
capreamm, atque bubalomm, et D"m33~Q 
D' 1 D133X barbunm avusim, id est, altilium 
saginatomm in stabulis, hoc est, stabulantium. 
David Kimhi ex magistrorum sententia, 
trans fert aves, quae afferuntur ex Barbana. Rab 
Salamon Gallos pmgues, Kimhi addit 
castratos, Iosephus volatilia, D. Hieronymus 
aves al tiles, septuaginta {exXekxoc,} 



elsewhere he says: The Doctors of the Hebrews explain it also 
by cock; also Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish* reported this, as 
John Reuchlm* testifies; and Saint Jerome* translated it 
so. Really, the Septuagmt* says: Who has given women the 
skill of wealing, or a multiform expertise? The Targum*: Who 
has given intelligence to the heart? The Second Targum: Who 
has given intelligence to the wild cock, in order that it may praise 
its master? Rabbi Abraham: To the heart? Rabbi Levi: To 
the intellect? Rabbi Mosech: Who has given the cock 
intelligence, so to teach man to rise at middle of the night to praise 
God? So, this man without doubt brings forth at this 
point these words from some Targum of Jerusalem, and 
from his Rabbis*, but he affirms that they are mainly 
agreeing on heart. The Ornithologist says, making 
reference to somebody else, that among Hebrews there 
are some who translate the word Sekui into Tarnegul, i.e. 
Gallus, (this word he conjectures to be Chaldean*) 
whose last syllable, precisely Gul, in German 
nomenclature agrees with the word Gallus. Really 
perhaps the cock could be so called either from the 
courage, which has its location chiefly in the heart, or 
from its eyesight, which it has always simultaneously 
turned upwards in order to escape kites* and other 
birds of prey, and downwards for finding food. 



In the trilingual lexicon with regard to Gallus it can be 
read also sikui, and for Gallina sakuia, and the latter 
word in Syro-Chaldaic dictionary is reported as Gallus, 
from Vaic. rab., chapter 26. For barbm* , in the First 
Book of Kings*, where we read: To say nothing of hunting 
deer, goats, and antelopes, and barbmim avusim, i.e., poultry 
fattened in bams, i.e. those which are staying in bams; David 
Kimhi*, according to the opinion of the experts, 
translates with birds which are brought from Barbarf' . Rabbi 
Salamon translates with fat cocks, Kimhi adds castrated, 
Josephus with flying creatures, Saint Jerome with birds 
to be fattened, the Septuagint with eklekton, i.e., chosen - 
excellent, as if they had read barur, the Chaldean - Syro- 
Chaldaic dictionary? - with fat or to be fattened bird. 



48 In libro radicum. (Aldrovandi) 

49 Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 380: Quis posuit in renibus sapientiam, aut quis dedit cordi (ut Munsterus 
vertit lob. 38. Hebraice legitur "'"DE?, sekui) intelligentiam? Sunt (inquit Munsterus) apud Hebraeos, qui vocem sekui, tarnegul ( 
T>"133"nn, vocem Chaldaicam esse conijcio, cuius ultima syllaba Germanicae galli nomenclaturae congruit) id est gallum 
interpretantur. — Vedere il lessico alia voce Miinster Sebastian* per la sua biografia. 

50 Confronta tarlugallu, 'gallo' (dal sumerico dar-lugal'te screziato'), che e voce assira. (Walde -Hoffman) 

31 E difficile capire: 'gallo' in tedesco si dice Hahn, quindi -gul con quale parola tedesca concorda? 

52 I Reges 5,2: Decern boves pingues et viginti boves pascuales et centum aves, excepta venatione cervorum, caprearum atque 
bubalorum et avium altilium. - Dieci buoi grassi, venti buoi da pascolo, cento pecore senza contare i cervi, i caprioli, i daini e gli 
uccelli ingrassati. - Secondo la Volgata* e i Settanta - come viene annotate da Aldrovandi - si tratta del Terzo Libro dei Re, cioe 3, 
cap. 4. 



13 



<eicAeictcbv> 53 , id est, electus, quasi legerint 
barur, Chaldaeus avem saginatam vel altilem. 

""PT~IT Proverbiorum 30 54 varie exponunt: 
quidam, ut David Kimhi docet, canem 
leporarium cursu velocem: alii nemer, id est, 
pardum, alii speciem avis immundae, D. 
Hieronymus Galium, septuaginta interpretes 
secutus, qui aAeKTopa reddiderunt. Nam R. 
Ioseph dicit nomen animantis esse, quod inter 
Gallinas ambulet. "Q3 gaber apud Esaiam D. 
Hieronymus vertit Gallus Gallinaceus: 
Septuaginta 55 , et plenque Hebraeorum vir, uti 
et Caldaeus pro KH33 Gabera. I. Drusius 56 ita 
vertendum esse et non aliter omnino 
contendit, hunc in modum scnbens. Verba 
sunt Isaiae ex versu septimo, et decimo capitis 
22 57 . Ecce Dominus transportabit te Taltela Gaber, 
quae verba D. Hieronymus edoctus ita, ut 
ipsemet testatur, ab Hebraeo praeceptore suo, 
alia ratione quam interpretes, qui ante ipsum, 
exposuit. 



Cum [187] enim alii omnes Gaber virum 
exposuissent: ipse unus Galium mterpretatus est, 
hac sententia: sicut Gallus Gallinaceus humero 
portatoris de alio loco {tuo} <te> leiiter asportabit. 
Ego autem idem verbum eodem modo 
expositum, post offendi a Salamone Iano: neque 
sane Camius earn expositionem silentio praeterit, 
quam citat inter alias ex Dras. Ac ne lllud 
quidem pigebit admonere, apud Salomonem 58 , 
ubi in vulgata lectione latina legitur, tiam liri in 
adolescentula, expositum similiter legi in Medras 
Misle de Gallo Gallinaceo: idque mihi mirum in 
pnmis esse visum. Nam quod sequitur in 
adolescentula, earn expositionem, nisi animi 
fallor, plane convellit. Ego sane, quod bona 
eorum mterpretum venia dictum sit, id verbum 
nusquam earn vim habere arbitror: praesertim 
cum praecedat verbum Taltela, quod formam 



They explain Sarsir of Proverbs* 30,31 in various ways: 
some, as David Kimhi shows, a greyhound quick in 
running; others nemer, that is, a male panther - a leopard, 
others a kind of filthy bird, Saint Jerome the cock, 
having followed the Septuagint translators, who had 
translated with alektora. For Rabbi Joseph says that it is 
the name of a living being inasmuch as it walks among 
hens. Gaber in Isaiah* Saint Jerome translates it with 
Gallus Gallinaceus: the Septuagint, and most of the 
Hebrews, with man, as the Syro-Chaldaic dictionary also 
does for gabera. Johannes Drusius* claims that 
absolutely it should be so translated and in no other 
way, writing as follows: They are words of Isaiah drawn 
from the seventeenth verse of the paragraph 22. Lo, the 
Lord will tranport you Taltela Gaber, words that Saint 
Jerome, as he himself testifies, has interpreted in this 
way, otherwise than the interpreters — Septuagint — who 
there were earlier than him, inasmuch as he was 
instructed by his Hebrew teacher. 

Page 187 

For while all others translated Gaber as man, he alone 
— St. Jerome* - translated it as gallus by this maxim: 
like a Gallus Gallinaceus on the shoulder of the bearer he will 
easily cany you away from another place. Afterwards in my 
turn I bumped into the same word rendered alike by 
Salamon Iarius: and truly nor did Camius pass over in 
silence that interpretation, which he quotes among 
others from Dras. And neither it will be shameful to 
remind what in Salomon* - book of Proverbs* - 
where in the Vulgate's* Latin version we read the way 
of the man in a maid, I have read similarly interpreted in 
Medras Misle about rooster: and this at first seemed 
strange to me. In fact what afterwards it happens in 
the maid, if I am not mistaken, quite overthrows that 
interpretation. Truly, speaking with the benevolent 
approval of those interpreters, I believe that never 
that word has such a meaning: overall because the 
word taltela comes before, and, as the grammarians 



53 Riportano SICASKTCOV sia la versione dei Settanta 3Re 2:50 clie Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 380: 
Hieronimus avium altilium, Septuaginta skAekT&v, (quasi legerint, barur, id est electus:) Chaldaeus avem saginatam vel altilem. 

54 Proverbi 30,31: gallus succinctus lumbos, "il gallo, clie passeggia spavaldo fra le galline, il caprone, clie marcia in testa al suo 
gregge, il re, quando arringa il suo popolo." (La Sacra Bibbia, Edizioni Paoline, 1958) — Settanta: kcu oVsKTcop ejntspntctTcbv 
SnAsvcuc; stjifiu^og Ka! Tpayoc; rjyoijjiEvoc; alxoXiov koa fiaoxXzhc, 5r|jir|yopcbv sv e0vev. 

55 Isaia cap. 22. (Aldrovandi) 

56 Observationes cap. 8. (Aldrovandi) 

57 In Isaia 22,17-18 si legge: Ecce Dominus vehementer te apprehendens. In globum te convolvet glomerans; quasi pilam mittet te 
in terram latam et spatiosam. 

58 Liber Proverbiorum cap. 30. (Aldrovandi) - Confronta Proverbi 31,19: Viam viri in adulescentula - II sentiero dell'uomo in una 
giovane. 



14 



habet nominis, ut grammatici loquuntur, 
absoluti. lam lllud quoque nonnihil est, quod 
Hebraeos peritiores aliter accipere eum locum 
constat. David certe Camius, qui, quae lingua 
aliarum linguarum pnnceps est, ems ipse linguae 
princeps inter suos mterpretes censetur, in 
commentariis ad eum locum, Meo animo, inquit, 
Gaber est positum in casu vocativo, et est ordo, 
ac sensus: o vir ecce Dominus transportabit te 
transportatione. Vocat autem eum virum propter 
superbiam ac fastum. Hactenus I. Drusius. 
Verum praeterquam quod ipse fatetur, 
Salomonem Ianum ita vertisse, et Camium 
eandem expositionem ex Dras citare, quidam 
etiam alii J0123nn tarnegula, id est, Galium 
Gallmaceum exponunt, teste David Kimhi, 
Thargum Ierosolimitanum pro ~Q2 ]"P25X7Q 
1J70")T Vaishu mhesion gaber, id est, Et profecti 
sunt de Et^ion gaber, quod legitur Numer. 33. 59 
habet TOD ibnjl Kbl22-|n Vunetalu 
micherach tarnegola, id est, Et profecti sunt autem 
ab arce Galli, ut legere est in dictionario 
Syrochaldaico Guidonis Fabncn Boderiani: 
Itaque meo mdicio et Gallus, et vir traduci 
possit, cum vir a virtute, seu robore dicatur, et 
animi vigore, quo Gallus inter sui generis 
volucres egregie praeditus est. 

Pro Gallo item in dictionario trilmgui legitur 
TOil habur, et T32TJ nergal, quarum vocum 
prior ad Gaber accedit, posterior ad Tarnegul 
7>122~in, pro qua voce Syre legitur J0122nn 
Tarnagola Gallus avis: lob. 3. Matth. 26. Marc. 
14. et loan. 18. etK^ninn JOiTn Tarnagela 
dedava, Gallus aureus, Ester. 1. in Thar. Ierosol. 
et ibinj-in Tarnegoled Gallma, et K7bl22-|n 
X~Q Tarnegola bara, Gallus sylvestris<,> idem 
K~Q binnn tarnegol bara, lob. 38. et Psal. 50. 
et T3T1 rol22~in tarnegoled thibur, Gallus 
Gallmaceus in plurali<,> flTJTpD fOlMnn 
tarnegolin mecharcherin, Galli crocitantes 60 . 
nDOn duchifad vox Hebraica in dictionario 
Syrochaldaico, ex quo pleraque nomina istaec 
excerpsimus, Gallus sylvestris exponitur. KDDX 
acava idem est, quod tarnegul, id est Gallus, aut 
secundum alios est ]pT 3TO, id est vetulus canis, 
sive Ka>elaps 61 canis venaticus Proverb. 30 62 



say, has the form of an absolute* noun. Certainly it is 
also of some importance that, as far as it is known, 
the most learned Hebrews do interpret otherwise that 
passage. Certainly David Camius who, like that 
language is the more authoritative among all 
languages, he himself is reckoned the most 
distinguished interpreter of that language, in the 
commentaries on this passage he says: in my opinion 
gaber is in the vocative case, and there is a sequence 
and a meaning: O man, lo the Lord will transport you by 
migration. On the other hand he calls him man on 
account of pride and haughtiness. Thus far Iohannes 
Drusius*. But besides the fact of declaring that 
Salomon Iarius translated in this way, and that Camius 
quotes from Dras the same interpretation, also certain 
others do translate tarnegula, i.e., roosters, as David 
Kimhi* testifies, the Targum* of Jerusalem, instead of 
Vaishu mhesion gaber, i.e. And they set forth from Et^jon 
gaber, which is read at Numbers* 33, reports Vunetalu 
micherach tarnegola, i.e., And on the contrary they set forth 
from the citadel of the rooster, as it is possible to read in 
Syro-Chaldaic dictionary of Guy le Fevre de la 
Boderie*: thus in my opinion it could be translated 
either cock or man, since man — dr - takes the name 
from the strength - virtus, or from the robustness - 
robur — oak, and from the strength of the spirit, with 
which the rooster among birds of its species is 
uncommonly endowed. 



Likewise in the trilingual dictionary for gallus is read 
habur and nergal, whose words the first one is similar 
to gaber, the next to tarnegul, for which noun in Syriac 
is read tarnagola, the bird rooster: Job 3, Matthew 
26,<34>, Mark 14,<30> and John 18,<27>, and 
tarnagela dedava, golden rooster, Esther* 1 in the 
Targum of Jerusalem and tarnegoled hen, and tarnegola 
bara, wild rooster, the same Targum tarnegol bara, Job* 
38 and Psalms* 50, and tarnegoled thibur, rooster in the 
plural, tarnegolin mecharcherin croaking roosters. The 
Hebrew word duchifad in the Syro-Chaldaic dictionary, 
from which we have taken most of these nouns, is 
interpreted as wild rooster. Acava is the same as 
tarnegul, i.e. rooster, or according to others it is ]pT 
DTO i.e. a rather old dog, or laelaps* a hunting dog in 
Proverbs 30 of Complutensian Polyglot Bible*. Aura, 
which Aruc interprets as das, name of a wild beast. 
Nagar turn is translated with wild rooster, or, as Rabbi 
Senra Ghaon says, mountain's rooster, or, like others, 
hoopoe. Somebody reported that the cock, in 



39 In Numeri 33 si indicano le sorti degli Ebrei in fuga dall'Egitto: nella Vulgata il nome che piu si awicina a Etzion sembra in 
33,30: profectique de Hesmona, oppure 35: egressique de Ebrona. 

60 II passo e introvabile. In Job 38,41 si legge: quando pulli eius (scilicet corvi) clamant. 

61 Laelaps: the name of a dog in Ovid Metamorphoses 3. .211; 7.771. (Lind, 1963) 

62 Confronta Proverbi 30,31 gallus succinctus. 



15 



Compluten 63 .<.> KT1K aura, quod Aruc 01 das 
exponit bestiae nomen. KT1H H33 nagar tura 
Gallus sylvestns vertitur, vel, ut R. Senra Ghaon 
ait, Gallus montanus, vel ut alii, Upupa. 
Saracems, Galium, quidam hodie Die appellari 
Uteris prodidit, Gallmam vero eisdem Tefese dici 
alicubi legimus. Avicennae caput 296. lib. 2. 
inscribitur Giaziudiuch, ubi interpres vertit de 
Gallims, et Gallo. Aducasugeg Sylvatico, vel, ut 
vetus Avicennae Glossographus habet, 
Aduzaruzegi, velut Gentiles 64 legit, Aducarucegi 
(hinc vel inde enim earn vocem hausisse videtur) 
Gallus, vel Gallma est. Furogi vero, vel Furogigi 
Gallus tantum. Sed forte ea vox mustelae 
sylvestri, quam Galli furo 65 dicunt potius 
conveniet, quasi furo gigeg (ad quam vocem, 
quae eidem Sylvatico Galium, vel Gallmam 
sigmficat posteriores duae syllabae gigi nempe 
non male accedunt) id est furans sive msidians 
Gal<l>inis quod et animali quasi propnum est. 
Alibi etiam apud eundem legitur Digegi, ut apud 
Serapionis interpretem Digedi. Alfrach Arabice 
non est commune ad omnes pullos, et 
quandoque dicitur de Gallma mvene, quae 
nondum ova pepent, teste Andrea Bellunensi, 
sed absolute prolatum significat pullum 
Colombmum, qui nondum volare potest. Et alibi 
scnbit Apheti 66 Gallinas esse secundum 
expositores Arabes, esseque eas, quae nondum 
pepererunt ova. 

Quod ad Graecam nomenclaturam attinet, ea, ut 
submde patebit, varia admodum est, etsi apud 
vetustissimos Graecos nomen nullum peculiare 
inveniamus, sed communi opviBeq vocabulo 
hanc speciem significasse, unde etiam Myrtilus 
apud Athenaeum 67 solas Gallinas opviBaq, et 
opviBia appellat. Quia tamen apud recentiores, 
qui post Aristotelem floruerunt, multa, ut dixi, 
synonyma repenantur, visum est ea ordme 
alphabetico prosequi, ut omnis vitetur confusio. 



Saracen* - Arabic - characters, is said die, and 
elsewhere we have read that in the same characters 
the hen is said tefese. The chapter 296 of the second 



book of Avicenna* is entitled 



where the 



translator translates Concerning the hens and the rooster. In 
Matthaeus Sylvaticus* aducasugeg, or, as the ancient 
glossographer of Avicenna reports, aducarucegi, or 
aducarucegi like Gentiles reads (in fact it seems that he 
has derived such a word from this or from that one) is 
the cock or the hen. H>ut furogi, or furogigi is only the 
rooster. But perhaps this word will be more 
appropriate to beech marten* - to wild weasel*, which 
they call furo of cock, as if furo gigeg (a word to which, 
meaning cock or hen for Sylvaticus himself, the two 
last syllables, just gigi, are not inappropriately 
approaching) i.e. thief or attacker of hens, what in 
addition, so to speak, is characteristic of the animal. 
Elsewhere in the same Sylvaticus also digegi is read, as 
digedi in the interpreter of Serapion* - Gerard of 
Cremona*? Andreas Bellunensis*?. A-frach in Arabic is 
not commonly used for all chicks, and sometimes it is 
said apropos of a young hen which has not yet laid 
eggs, as Andrea Alpago is testifying, but said in an 
unlinked way - without connection with the phrase - it 
means chick of pigeon which cannot yet fly. And 
elsewhere he writes that according to the Arabic 
interpreters alpheti are the hens, and those which not 
yet laid eggs. 



As far as Greek nomenclature is concerned, like soon 
after will be clear, it is quite varied, although among 
the most ancient Greeks we find no distinctive term, 
since they indicated this species with the common 
noun ornithes, which is why also Myrtilus in 
Athenaeus* calls only the hens omithas and omithia — 
birdies. However, as I said, being that many synonyms 
are found among more recent Greeks who flourished 
after Aristotle*, it seemed proper to me to set down 
them in alphabetical order so that any confusion is 



63 Verosimilmente si tratta della Bibbia Poliglotta Complutense* edita in Spagna a Complutum - Alcala de Henares — grazie a Francisco 
Jimenez de Cisneros*. 

64 In expositione verborum. (Aldrovandi) - Impossible trovare nel web una qualsivoglia citazione di quest' opera di Giuseppe Giusto 
Scaligero. 

65 Sappiamo die il classico ladro di polli e rappresentato da un mustelide: la faina. Qui Aldrovandi si abbandona quasi 
scherzosamente a un gioco di parole, senza pero alcun intento etimologico, riguardo a quell' altro mustelide clie e il furetto*. II 
sost&ntivo furo, furonis, solo in Isidoro* significa furetto, la cui etimologia ci e fornita appunto da Isidoro in Efymolqgiae XII,2: "Furo 
a furvo dictus; unde et fur. Tenebrosos enim et occultos cuniculos effodit, et eicit praedam quam invenerit. - Furetto trae il nome 
da tenebroso, da cui deriva anche ladro. Infatti scava delle gallerie tenebrose e nascoste, e stana la preda clie vi abbia trovato." Le 
argomentazioni etimologiche di Isidoro potrebbero essere contestate in alcuni punti, ma non e questa la sede per farlo. Cio clie 
conta e che l'antico e classico nome latino per il furetto e viverra, ae, come per esempio in Plinio Naturaiis historic! VIII, 217 '. 

66 cfr. anche Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 415: Gallinae alfethi, secundum expositores Arabes, sunt gallinae 
quae nondum pepererunt ova, Andrea Bellunen. 

67 IX,15,373a 



16 



avo 



ided. 



Aristoteles, eumque secuti alii opviv, vel 6pvi6a 
communiter de quavis volucre dicunt: nonnulli 
vero recentiores Graeci pnvatim de Gallo, 
Gallmaque. Aristoteles Galium dAeictpuova vel 
aXeictopa vocat, Gallinam dAeKTopiSa. 
Aristophanes oXeictopac;, qui mares sint, 
dAeKTptjaivaq, quae faemmae, dAeictpuovac; 
utrumque continere ludens in comedia 
monstravit 68 . 



Aristotle, and others who followed him, commonly 
say ornin or ornitha for any bird: but some more recent 
Greeks say so especially for cock and hen. Aristotle 
calls the rooster akktryona or alektora, the hen 
alektorida. Aristophanes*, in jesting, showed in a 
comedy that aUktoras are the males, alekttyainas the 
females, and that alektryonas is including both. 



Page 188 



Socrates sane apud eundem Aristophanem 69 , 
Strepsiadem reprehendere [188] videtur, quod 
dAeKTpuova in utroque sexu proferat, itaque 
iubet, eum faeminam dAeKTpijcuvav vocare ficto 
vocabulo, et poetico, ut a Aicov sit Aicuvoc, 
marem vero dlXeictopoc. Videtur autem, mquit 
Scholiastes, vulgaris haec consuetudo turn fuisse, 
faeminam quoque dAeictpuova nominandi, ut 
patet ex hisce Aristophanis verbis 70 : 

Ttjvai ti to i|;6cpr(|i.a eaxi; 'H dAeictpucov 

Tf]v KUAxica Kata(3e(3!\r|Kev. Ol|i.co|oi;adye. 

Et in Platoms D<a>edalo 71 : eviote TtoAAm tcov 

dAeKTpuovcov {)7tr|vep.ia [3{qc tiktouoi cod 



In Aristophanes* it seems that Socrates* is quite 
scolding Strepsiades* because he says akktryona for 
both sexes, and so he bids to call the female 
akktryainan by a newly coined and poetic word, 
likewise leaina — lioness - is coming from lean - lion, 
but the male is alektora. The scholiast* says that on the 
other hand it seems that then there was this common 
practice to call also the female alektiyona, as is evident 
from these words of Aristophanes: 

Gynai ti to psophema esti? He alektry§n 

Ten kylika katabebleken. Oimoxousdge. 

O woman what's this noise? It's the hen 

That knocked down a cup. She wailed. 

And in Daedalos* of comedy writer Plato*: eniote u 



68 LE NUVOLE di Aristofane - traduzione di Ettore Romagnoli - Lesina = Strepsiade — Tirchippide = Fidippide - [...] SOCRATE: Altro 
devi imparar, prima di questo: quali sono i quadrupedi di genere mascolino! LESINA: Eh, lo so, die sono scemo? II capro, il becco, il 
toro, il cane, il polio... SOCRATE: Vedi die ti succede? Chiami polio la femmina ed il maschio, al modo stesso! LESINA: E come? 
SOCRATE: Come? Dici polio e polio! LESINA: Pel Dio del mare! e adesso, come devo chiamarii? SOCRATE: L'uno polio, e l'altra polla! 
LESINA: Corpo dell'aria, bene! Polla! Voglio riempirti la madia di farina sol per questo problema! SOCRATE: Siam daccapo! II 
problema, ch'e maschio, me lo fai diventar donna! [...] LESINA (Esce tenendo un polio in ciascuna mano; e mostra l'un d'essi a 
Tirchippide): Vediamo! Tu come lo chiami, questo? TIRCHIPPIDE: Polio! LESINA: Benone. E questa? TIRCHIPPIDE: Polio! LESINA: 
Un nome per tutti e due? Vuoi farti canzonare! Non ci cascare piu, d'ora in avanti: questo chiamalo polio, e questa, polla! 
TIRCHIPPIDE: Polla! E codesta bella roba, sei stato ad imparare da quei trogloditi? [...] PASCIONE (Al testimonio): Che credi che fara? 
Che paghera? LESINA (Torna con un polio in mano): Dov'e quello che vuole i miei quattrini? (Mostra a Pascione il polio) Dimmi, 
questo che e? PASCIONE: Che e? E un polio! LESINA: E mi chiede quattrini, un uomo fatto a questo modo? Una polla la chiami 
polio? Tu non li vedi i miei quattrini! 

69 Aristophanes Clouds 662-63. (Lind, 1963) - In greco 6 aAEKTpucov e il gallo, r| dAsKTpucov la gallina, 6 &A£KTCOp e il gallo, 
anche il marito; dal primo vocabolo, per coniazione comica, Aristofane in Nuvo/e 666 riporta r] OCASICTpuavva, che viene tradotto 
con gallessa. 

70 Aristophanes Amphiaraus*, Fragment I (ed. by A. Meineke) in Fragmenta Comicorum Graecorum II, 2 (Berlin, 1840), 953; F. W. Hall 
and W. M. Geldart, Oxford text of Aristophanes, Fragment 1 8; edition of the Cloudsbj W. J. M. Starkie (London, 1911), 159. (Lind, 
1963) 

71 Plato Comicus: in A. Meineke, op. at., 619. (Lind, 1963) — Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 401: Et in Platonis 
(Aristophanis, Athenaeus. positum est Keel TtAdtCOV, pro KCcl TtdAw a librarijs) Daedalo, 'EvvoTS TtoAAcu TCOV OcAsiCTpUOVCOV 
UTtrjVSpva (3va TVICTOuav cbd TtoAAdiaq. 'O 8s Ttaiq SvSov Xac, dAsKTpUOVaq ao(3si. - Quindi si tratterebbe, secondo Ateneo, 
di una commedia di Aristofane e non di Platone. 

72 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 401: Sed locus, quod ad authorum citationes, non recte distinctus emendari 
potest ex Athenaeo, cuius verba subieci. 

73 IX,15,373e-16,374d. 

74 Forse il testo di Ateneo letto da Aldrovandi aveva effettivamente koridia, fanciulle, diminutivo di kore, ragazza; ma il testo 
receptus e choiridia, diminutivo di choiros, scrofa icho<i> ridia) . — Si puo tuttavia presumere con quasi assoluta certezza che si tratta di 
un errore tipografico oppure di uno scorretto download pra.tica.to sul testo di Gessner, visto che Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium 
III (1555), pag. 401 riporta: item Strattis, Av S'aAEictpuovsq aTtaacu ical td )(ovp{8va TeBvrpcev. 



17 



•koW&kic,. 'O 8e ■Kaiq evSov xac, dAeictpuovac; 
ao(3el. Attici quidem etiam Gallmas sic 
vocabant{,} <.> Et Theopompus: Vocant vero 
Gallmam etiam dAeKTpucuvav. Haec Scholiastes: 
sed locus quo<d> 72 ad authorum citationes non 
recte distinctus emendari potest ex Athenaeo 73 , 
apud quern ita legitur. Cratinus, mquit, 
dAeictpuova in faeminino genere dixit. Item Strattis 
Al S'dAeKTpuovec; cxTtaaai Kal xa {icopioioc} 74 
<)(oipi8ia> teBvrpcev. Et Anaxandrides Rhodius 
{Comicns} <Comicus> 'O)(euoji.evac; xaq 
dAeictpuovac; Beopouaiv dajievoi. Et 
Theopompus 75 "AjQo]Lai S'aTtoAcoAeKcoq 

dAeKTpuova TiKTouaav 'cod TtdvicaAa. Et 
Aristophanes 16 'Oiov jiiyiatov tetoicev, coc, 
dAeKTpucov. 



Thomas {magister} <Magister> 77 quoque 
annotat, vocem dAeicTpucov significare marem, 
et faeminam, et Hesychius 78 veteres 
dAeictpuovac; Gallinas vocare scnbit. Gallus 
etiam dicitur dAiicTcop, a quo fit, aXexxopiq, 
Gallma, quam posteriorem vocem Varinus, et 
Thomas Magister poeticam esse dicunt: 
dAiicTcop vero vocabulum esse d56io.ji.ov. 
Verum cum Aristo teles 79 dAeicTopiSa etiam 
nominet, ac Galenus 80 dAeictpuovoc; Kal 
dAeictopiSoc, alp.a dicat: itaque ego vocem 
dAeictpuaiva prorsus d8oKip.ov, dAiicTcop vero 
poeticam {tantum} 81 contra lllos esse dixerim; 
qui cum dAeKTopiq poeticum faciant, poetae 
nullius testimonium adducunt, et ego quoque 



ton alektiyomn hypenemia bia t tiktousi odpolldkis. O de pais 
endon tas alektryonas sobei. - Sometimes many hens lay 
wind-eggs — sterile - against their will. The boy drives 
the hens inside. In fact the Attic inhabitants* called in 
this way also the hens. And the comic writer 
Theopompus* says: But they call the hen also 
alekttyainan. This is what the scholiasts says. But the 
passage, not too much accurate regarding the 
quotation of various authors, can be emended on the 
basis of Athenaeus*, where we read as follows. He 
says: Cratinus* used alekttyona in the feminine gender. 
Likewise Strattis* Ai d'alekttyones hdpasai, kdi td choiridia 
tethneken - All hens and little sows are died. And the 
comic poet Anaxandrides of Rhodes* Ocheuomenas tas 
alektryonas theorousin dsmenoi - Delighted, they gaze at 
hens being mounted. And the comic writer 
Theopompus: Achthomai d'apoklekos alektyona tiktousan 
t d pdnkala - I feel sorry to have lost the hen which 
was laying very fine eggs. And Aristophanes: 0pn 
megiston tetoken, hos alektryon - She has laid a very large 
egg, like a hen. 

Also Thomas Magister* annotates that the word 
akktryon means the male and the female, and 
Hesychius* writes that the ancients called alektryonas 
the hens. The rooster is also called alektm; whence 
alektoris, the hen, is formed, and the latter word 
Thomas Magister and Varinus* say is poetic: but 
alekt§r is a derogatory word. But being that also 
Aristotle* uses the word alektorida and that Galen* 
says alektryonos kdi alektoridos haima - blood of cock 
and hen: then, in opposition to them — Varinus and 
Magister, I would say that the word alektryaina is quite 
adokimon, derogatory, while alektor is poetic: they, 
when setting out alektoris as poetic, adduce the 
testimony of no poet, and I also don't remember any 
poet who used this word, and really no one said 
alektora in prose, but some poets, Aristophanes, 



75 In Pace. Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 401: Et Theopompus in Pace, 'A^Bopav S'&TtcAxoAsKC&q 
oeAeictpuova tvictouaav 'cod TtdyicaAa. 

76 From Aristophanes' Daedalus; the fragment is found in A. Meineke, op. at, 1016 [in ¥ragmenta Comicorum Graecorum\; it is quoted 
also by Eustathius, 1479-1528 and by Photius, 624-28. Aldrovandi "wrongly refers it to the Peace. (Lind, 1963) — Come giustamente 
rileva Lind, Aldrovandi ha commesso un semplicissimo ma grave errore: nella nota a bordo pagina appone il riferimento in Pace 
come appartenente ad Aristofane, mentre non fornisce alcun riferimento per il comicoTeopompo, al quale, stando a Gessner, 
appartiene Pace. 

77 Thomas Magister, ed. by F. Ritschl (Halle, 1832). (Lind, 1963) 

78 Hesychius, I, 16; see note 23 and Latte's edition, I, 101. (Lind, 1963) 

79 Aristotle History of Animals 6. 1, 558b 27. (Hereafter referred to as Aristotle H. A.J (Lind, 1963) 

80 Galen De Simplicium NLedicamentorum P emperamentis et Facultatibus in Medici Graeci (ed. by C. G. Kuehn, Leipzig, 1821-33); first Paris 
edition, 1530; another at Leyden, 1561. (Hereafter cited as Galen De Simpl.) (Lind, 1963) 

81 Questo tantum e riportato a casaccio da Aldrovandi, rendendo oltretutto indaginosa la traduzione. Infatti nel testo di Gessner — da 
cui e stato praticato il download — tantum e in correlazione con et. Invece nel testo di Aldrovandi bisognerebbe associare tantum a 
poeticam oppure a contra. - Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 401: Itaque ego vocem CCASKTpuavva prorsus 
CCOOICVpov dixerim, CCASICTCOp vero poeticam tantum contra Varinum et Thomam Magistrum: qui cum CCASKTOpVCj poeticum 
faciant, poetae nullius testimonium proferunt, et ego quoque nullum ex poetis hac voce usum memini. 



18 



nullum ex poetis hac voce usum memini, 
dAiictopa vero in prosa nemo dixit, sed poetae 
aliquot, Aristophanes, Theocritus, Cratinus, 
alnque 82 . 

AAeKTopig vero Athenaeo non Gallma est, sed 
Gallus. Usus, in quit, nostra tempore obtinuit, ut 
Gallinae "OpviBeg, et 'OpviBia dicantur, Galli vero 
dAeKTpuoveq, et dAeKTopiSec;. Apud Varinum 
dAeKTpig pro Gallma legitur, sed forte 
impressoris culpa pro dAeKTopiq, ut videtur. 
Repentur et dAeKTopiog pro dAeKTopeux;. 
AAeKTcop vero Gallus dicitur, quod nos, ut apud 
Athenaeum 83 est, ex xov Aeictpou, id est e cubili 
excitet. Hie, ut videtur, mtelligit esse ex alpha 
privativo, et Aeictpov, quod nos dAeictpoc; faciat. 
Eustathius vult esse ex alpha privativo, et verbo 
Aeyco, id est cubo; ut videlicet sit Aeictcop, demde 
praefixo alpha privativo dAeKTcop: unde 
dAeKTopiOKoq. Caeterum etiamsi dAeKTcop ex a 
privativo, et Aeyco deducamus, dAeictpucov, 
quod idem est, quod dAeictcop 84 , Gallus nempe, 
et mterdum etiam Gallina, ut mox ex 
Aristophane diximus, et Athenaeo, ex a 
privativo, et Aeictpov potius fieri dicendum est. 
Hanc vocem nempe dAeKTpucov Homeri 
saeculum, teste Vanno non agnovit. Utebantur 
nimirum antiquitus, ut diximus paulo ante, 
tantum voce opviq de Gallo in genere masculmo, 
de Gallina in faemmino. Cum vero dAeictpucov 
nomen viri est, cuius Homerus 85 meminit, servat 
o magnum in genitivo, secundum Varinum, 
secundum vero Eustathium mutat 86 . 

BoOKdq 6pxa\iq Nicandro 87 gallina est 
domestica, sive altilis. Bpr(Toq apud Hesychium, 
et Varinum gallus anni cuius. 'Hi/ravoc; 88 
gallmaceus, ut ndem interpretantur. 

TrataAeicTpucov dicitur magnus gallus apud 



Theocritus*, Cratinus and others. 



In Athenaeus akktoris is not the hen but the cock. He 
says: In our times the custom obtained that the hens are called 
ormthes — birds - and ornithia -birdies, the cocks on the 
contrary alektryones and alektorides. In Vannus alektris 
is read for hen, but perhaps, as it seems, in place of 
akktoris owing to the printer. There is also found 
alektorios instead of alektoreios - gallinaceous. Really, the 
cock is called alektor because, as we find in Athenaeus, 
ek tou lektrou, that is, it brings out of the bed. He, as it 
seems, is thinking that it comes from an alpha 
privative and lektron - nuptial bed, being that it makes 
us dlektros - without marriage. Eustathius of 
Thessalonica* wants that it is coming from an alpha 
privative and the verb lego - to fall to lie, i.e. I lie; that 
is like it were lekter and then, with an alpha privative 
placed before, alektor. whence alektoriskos - cockerel. 
On the other hand, although we derive alekt§r from 
privative alpha and lege, alektryon, which is the same as 
alektor, and precisely the cock and sometimes also the 
hen, as we have just told from Aristophanes and 
Athenaeus, we must say that they come rather from 
an alpha privative and lektron. Homer's* age, 
according to Varinus, did not know this word, i.e. 
akktryon. In ancient time, as I said a short while ago, 
they just used only the word ornis in the masculine 
gender for rooster and in the feminine gender for hen. 
But when alektyen is the name of a man, mentioned 
by Homer, according to Vannus it keeps the letter 
omega in the genitive, on the contrary according to 
Eustathius is changing it - into omicron. 

Boskds ottalis - fatted young hen - in Nicander* is a 
domestic hen, or a battery hen. Bretos in Hesychius 
and Varinus is a year-old rooster. Etkanos is the cock, 
as the same authors undesrstand. In Aristophanes a 
large rooster is called hippalekttyon* - horsecock, 



,1 C -4-U, 



u„„„„u;..„ 



82 Se crediamo a Gessner — e conviene crederci - questi altri sono i Settanta* in Proverbi 30,31 (clie e un libro poetico dell'Antico 
Testamento) e Kiranide*, ammesso che si tratti di Kiranide e clie il suo testo fosse considerato poesia. - Conrad Gessner, Historic! 
Animalium III (1555), pag. 401: ceAsKTopa vero in prosa nemo dixit, sed poetae aliquot, Aristophanes, Theocritus, Cratinus. item 
Septuaginta Prov. 30. et Kiran. - Proverbi 30,31: gallus succinctus lumbos, "il gallo, che passeggia spavaldo fra le galline, il caprone, 
che marcia in testa al suo gregge, il re, quando arringa il suo popolo." (L/z Sacra Bibbia, Edizioni Paoline, 1958) — Settanta: 1CCU 
oeAeicTcop ejnteputatcbv BrjAsvcuq su^u^oq Keel Tpdyoq rjyoupevcx; cuTtoAvou iced (3aavAsu<; Srjprjyopdbv sv sBvsv. 

83 IX,16,374d. 

84 Eustazio, pag. 182,11 (ad Iliadem II 103); pag. 1479,28 (ad Odysseam I 10): apb toil lego lektore alektor. 

85 There is a marginal reference to Homer Iliad, Book 17; this must be to line 602: "great-hearted son of Alectryon," the only 
reference in Homer to the "word for chicken in Greek, although a proper name here. (Lind, 1963) 

86 Eustazio, pag. 1120,12 (ad Iliadem XVII 602): Oti Alektryon kyrion keitai entautha ou phyldsson to o en te^genik^hosElektryon. 

87 Alexipharmaca, 293. 

88 Forse da e'os, l'uccello che canta al mattino. - Perhaps from eos, the bird singing in the morning. 



19 



Aristophanem 89 . Kepicvog nsdem Hesychio, et 
Varino scilicet, vel Accipiter est, vel Gallinaceus, 
sed Accipiter potius meo iudici<o>, isque 
Circus: uti etiam Kf|pv)|, quae vox Suiclae panter, 
et Varino Accipitns genus est, et Gallinaceus. 
KiKippoq Gallinaceus, Hesychius, et Vannus. 
KiKKoq oxytonum, Gallinaceus, paroxytonum 
vero parva cicada 90 , et Kucica paroxytonum, 
Gallma, Iidem. Videtur autem vox per 
onomatopoeiam facta. KoKKo(36aq opviq 91 de 
Gallmaceo accipiendum videtur apud 
Sophoclem 92 , ut vult Eustathius 93 , nimirum 
quoque a voce, de qua verbum kokkij^eiv 
Graeci usurpant: videtur itaque epitheton esse. 

KopKopa opviq, Pergaeis Hesychius, et Vannus. 
KopuBcov dAeKTpucov, ori veaviSe<;{.} <,> 
Iidem. Forte autem sic nommatus fuent Gallus, 
quod KopuBa 94 id est, enstam gerat: et eadem 
ratione fortassis etiam KopuvBetjq apud eosdem, 
sed quae vox eis etiam cophinum et calathum 
sigmficat. Kookikoi, ol KatoiKiSioi 

"Opvi6eq{.} <,> Iidem. Apparet autem pnorem 
vocem a kikkoc; formari. KottoI, Gallinacei a 
crista capitis sic dicti apud eosdem in IIpoKoTTa, 
quod est, KecpaAfjg Tpv)(co|i.a. KoTToq, opviq, sed 
equum quoque aliqui sic vocabant{.} <,> Iidem. 
Et rursus KoTTo(3oAeiv To TtapaTTpeiv Tiva 
opviv. KottuAoioi KoctoiidSioi opveiq: sed 
Varinus legit kottuAioi per iota in penultima. 
Hesychius vocem KoTToq alibi in dictione KoTTr) 
generaliter pro qualibet ave accipi scnbit, propne 
vero esse Gallinaceum. KoTiKaq Gallus {.}<,> 
Iidem. KpoKiaq apud Plutarchum 95 Gallus est, 



fabulous animal. For the same authors, i.e. Hesychius 
and Varinus, kerknos is either the hawk* or the cock, 
but rather the hawk in my judgment, and precisely the 
circus*: as also keryx - the herald, a word that, alike in 
both Suidas* and Varinus is a kind of hawk and the 
cock. Kikirros — cock - for Hesychius and Varinus is 
the cock. Kikkos oxytonum is the cock, paroxytonum 
on the contrary is a small cicada, and kikka 
paroxytonum is the hen, for the same authors. And it 
seems and onomatopoeic words. It seems that in 
Sophocles* kokkoboas ornis must be taken as referring 
to the rooster, like Eustathius thinks, without doubt 
also from the song, from which the Greeks take the 
verb kokky^ein - to go boo, or to crow a cock-a- 
doodle-doo: therefore it seems to be an epithet. 

Korkora is a bird for the inhabitants of Perge*, 
according to Hesychius and Varinus. Koiyth§n 
alektryon, ai neanides — the rooster standing up, the 
young girls - the same authors. But perhaps the 
rooster was so named because it bears the korytha, i.e. 
the comb: and probably for the same reason is also 
called koryntheus by the same authors, but for them 
this word also means big basket and hamper. Koskikoi, 
hoi katoikidioi ornithes - Koskikoi, the domestic birds, the 
same authors. But it seems that the first word is made 
from kikkos - the cock. In the same source the 
roosters are called kottoi because of the comb they 
have on head, when they are dealing with prokotta, 
which is kephales trichoma - head hair. Kottos ornis, — 
kottos, a bird -, but somebody called in this way also 
the horse, the same authors. And again Kottoboletn, to 
paraterein tina ornin - Kottoboletn, to observe a bird. 
Kottyloioi katoikidioi orneis - Kottyloioi domestic birds: but 
Varinus reads kottylioi with an iota in the penultimate 
syllable. Hesychius writes that the word kottos - the 
fish Cottus gobio* -elsewhere in the form kotte, is 



89 Ranae 937 ecc. 

90 1CVKOU<5 = giovane cicala = young cicada. 

91 kokky = cuccit, voce del cuculo + boao = mando un grido - kokky = cuckoo, the voice of the cuckoo + boao = to bawl. 

92 Sophocles, Fragment 900; F. Ellendt, Lexicon Sophocleum (sec. ed. by H. Genthe, 1872; photographic reprint, 1958), 390; A. C. 
Pearson, The Fragments of Sophocles, III (1917), 34, Fragment 791. (Lind, 1963) 

93 ad Odjsseam IV 10 (1479,44). 

94 II sostantivo femminile KOpvc,, genitivo KOpu9o<5, significa elmo, casco. 

95 II sostantivo maschile KpOKia<5 in Plutarco De hide et Osiride 375e significa color zafferano, riferito al gallo. - Plutarco, Moralia, 
Iside e Osiride 61 - 375d-e: 'O 8s "Oaipiq 8K TOU OOVOU <KCU> vspou TOUVOflCt pspvypsvov Ea\X\KE- KOIVOC, ydp EOTV TCOV EV 
oupavqb kcu xobv ev a8ou Aoyoq- cbv Ta [375e] psv vspa, tot 8s oava role, TtaAcu eQoc, rjv Ttpoaayopeusiv. 'O 8' 
avacpouvcov Ta oupdvva iced tcov avco cpspopevcov \6yoc, 'Avou(3v<;, eatv 8s ots ical 'Eppdvou(3v<; ovopd^stav, to pev, 
oac, role, avco, to 8s, oac, role, icdtco itpoafpccov. Av6 Kal Buouavv autco to psv Asuicov dAsictpuova, to 8s icpoKtav, ta 
psv slAvKpivf] ical cpavd, Ta 8s |IV1CTd ical TtOVICvAa VOpv^OVTEq. - Sic ergo Osiris nomen habet ex hosio et hiero (quod est sancto 
et sacro) conflatum: communis enim est ratio eorum quae in coelo et apud inferos sunt, quorum altera hiera, altera hosia veteres 
nuncupabant. Jam qui coelestia ostendit Anubis, superiorum quasi ratio iano enim supra est), aliquando etiam Hermanubis 
usurpatur: altero nomine superioribus, altero inferis scilicet conveniente: itaque ei immola{ba}nt alias album, alias flavum gallum: 
supera sincera et manifesta, infera mixta et varia esse docentes. (Plutarchi Scripta Moralia tomus primus, Frederic Diibner, Parisiis, 
Editore Ambrosio Firmin Didot, 1868) - Osiride ha ricevuto il nome dall'unione di hosios (santo) e hieros (sacro): infatti il modo di 



20 



quern Hermanubidi immolari solere tradit. 
Ktjji|3cu opviBeg. Iidem. Videntur autem aves 
simpliciter lntelligendae, quoniam cymbateutae 
etiam Varino sunt aucupes. 



fish Cottus gobio* -elsewhere in the form kotte, is 
generally interpreted for whatever bird, but that 
properly it is the cock. Kotikas is a cock, the same 
authors. In Plutarch* krokias — saffron* colored - is a 
rooster, and he tells it is custom to sacrifice it to 
Hermanubis*. Kymbai omithes - birds cymba*. The 
same authors. But it seems that they must be simply 
meant as birds, since also in Varinus cymbateutae are 
bird catchers. 



Page 189 



KcoicaAov 96 genus [189] quoddam 

Gallmacei{.} <,> Iidem. Et KgokoXoc;, Varino 
quoque propnum nomen est. Mr|8iKoi, aves 
Medicae, Gallinacei{.} <,> Iidem. Aristophanes 97 
pf(8ov avem facere videtur. Scholiastes 
Gallmaceum accipiendum suspicatur. Alibi 
quidem dubitat, an ulla avis recte p^Soc; 
appelletur. Caelius 98 a Medis dici asserens, etiamsi, 
mquit, in latinis litem Medicum de procuratore 
{pronunciari} <pronuntiari> animadvertimus a verbo 
pr|8o|i.cu, idest euro. Sed cum Gallmaceus ab 
eodem comico etiam Persica avis dicatur, 
Medum quoque, vel Medicam avem pro 
Gallmaceo accipi ab eo vensimile est. 

'OAocpcovog Hesychio Gallinaceus est, sic dictus 
vel a lopho, id est crista, vel ab eo quod inter 
canendum in sublime se erigat, octto totj ev tcp 
qcSeiv 6Aov oupeaBcu Kal p.eTecopi^ea6ai. 
'OpTaAig Nicandro Gallmam significat. "OpviBa 
casu recto Graecis hodie vulgo Gallma est. 
'Op6o(36av 99 Galium dicebat Alexarchus 
Cassandri Macedonum Regis frater, qui 
Uranopolim aedificavit, quique peculiares 
dicendi formas invexit, nimirum quod inter 
canendum se erigat, unde et oAocpcovov, dictum 
qui dam comjciunt, ut diximus nisi quasi 
6p6po(36av potius a matutino cantu 100 , sic 



Kokalon is a kind of chicken, again Hesychius* and 
Varinus*. And kokalos also for Varinus is a proper 
name. Medikot, Median* birds, they are the roosters, 
the same authors. It seems that Aristophanes* is 
considering m'edon as a bird. The scholiast* suspects 
that a rooster must be meant. But elsewhere he 
doubts that some bird is correctly called medos - from 
Media. Lodovico Ricchieri *, when affirming that it 
takes the name from the Medes, says: although we realise 
that in Latin Medicus — doctor - is said of one who cares for 
somebody, from the verb medomai, that is I take care of. But 
being that by this comic writer the cock is also said 
Persian bird, it is likely that also the Median bird, or 
Medicus bird, is meant by him as cock. 

Olophonos - wholly voice - is the rooster in Hesychius, 
so called either from lophos**, i.e. comb, or from the 
fact that he straightens up when crowing, apb tou en to t 
dfiein olon airesthai kai mete§ri^esthai - because when 
crowing he raises whole himself and becomes proud. 
Ortalis - young hen - in Nicander* means hen. Omitha, 
in the nominative case, today among Greeks is 
commonly meaning hen - in modern Greek it is kotta, 
or omis. Alexarchus*, the brother of Cassander* king 
of the Macedonians*, who founded Uranopolis, and 
who brought in peculiar forms of speech, called the 
rooster orthoboan, just because it stretches up while 
crowing, whence some infer that it is also called 
ol6t>h§non, as we said, unless we prefer to think that it 



esprimere le cose die stanno in cielo e agli inferi e equivalente; e gli antichi avevano l'abitudine di chiamare hiera (sacre) le prime, 
hosia (sante) le seconde. Siccome Anubi e colui clie svela le cose celesti e la spiegazione razionale delle cose die si muovono verso 
l'alto, e talvolta e anche chiamato Ermanubi, in quanta il primo nome riguarda cio che sta in alto, il secondo cio che sta in basso. 
Per cui gli immolano anche un gallo bianco nel primo caso, nel secondo caso uno color zafferano, volendo significare nel primo 
caso le cose pure e pulite, nel secondo caso le cose mescolate e multiformi. (traduzione di Elio Corti — revisione di Roberto 
Ricciardi) — Aldrovandi ne riparlera a pagina 256. 

96 KcOKaAoq- KCOKOtAov %6XaiOV ical slSoc, dAsiCTpuovoq, Hesych. This Hesychian gloss is corrupt and obscure; but there 
may underlie it the Italian cocal, cocale, cucale, common words along the Adriatic (Venice, Trentino, Ancona) for a Sea-gull, - 
KCOKCtAov TOV Adpov (?). - (D'Arcy W. Thompson, A Glossary of Greek Birds, 1966 (1895)) 

97 Gli uccelli 277: ovopa TOUTCp MfjSoq SOTV. (D'Arcy W. Thompson, A Glossary of Greek Birds, 1966 (1895)) 

98 Aldrovandi trae verosimilmente la notizia dal libro X, capitolo 13 di l^ectiones antiquae di Lodovico Ricchieri. 

99 Orthos = dritto + boao = mando un grido - orthos = straight + boao = to bawl. 

100 Ateneo Deipnosophistai ^II,54,98e. 



21 



appellatum placeat. 'Optd!\i)(oq 101 vox poetica 
turn Galium ipsum, rum pullum Gallmaceum 
sigmficat, sed pullum frequentius, ut post 
dicemus 102 . Boeotice tamen ipsi Gallinacei etiam 
sic dicuntur apud Anstophanem 103 , ut referunt 
Scholiastes, et Vannus. 'OpBpioKOKKuyoc 104 
Sophocles habet pro Gallma, ni fallor 105 . 
IlepaiKoq opviq Persica avis Gallmaceus dicitur 
propter cristam. Unde Aristophanes 106 : Multos 
pueros deceperunt amatores, alius Coturnice, alius Persica 
are, aliave donata: Ubi Scholiastes Pretiosa, inquit, 
omnia quibus solus Persamm rex utebatur, Persica 



olophenon, as we said, unless we prefer to think that it 
is so called as being an orthroboan - orthros = dawn, 
from its morning song. The poetic word ortdlichos 
means both the cock itself and a young chicken, but 
more often chick, as I shall say later on. Nevertheless, 
as the scholiast and Varinus report, in Boeotia* the 
gallinaceous themselves are so called in Aristophanes. 
Unless I am mistaken, Sophocles* has orthriokokkyga 
for the hen. Persikos ornis, Persian bird, is said the 
rooster because of the comb. Whence Aristophanes: 
hovers have deceived many young boys, one with a quail*, 
another one with a Persian bird, or presenting with another one: 



101 Diminutivo di ortalis — gallina giovane - diminutive of ortalis — young hen. 

102 Ateneo Deipnosophista/^KTV ,15,622a. 

103 Aristophanes Acharnians 871; see W. J. M. Starkie's edition (London, 1909), 179-80. (Lmd, 1963) 

104 orthriokokkyx = die canta all'alba - orthriokokkyx = "who crows at dawn. 

105 Le galline non cantano all'alba come fanno i galli, ma solo dopo aver deposto l'uovo, il che awiene in ore progressivamente 
crescenti del giorno. - Sembra si tratti del fr. 4.421di Difilo, commediografo greco del sec. IV aC che visse soprattutto ad Atene e 
che scrisse commedie secondo la nuova tendenza del teatro alessandrino (commedia nuova). Del centinaio di opere sue non 
abbiamo che frammenti. — Quindi Aldrovandi commette due errori contemporaneamente. Bastava che almeno una volta tanto 
facesse un accurato download da Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 402: 'OpUpVOKOKICUg OCASICTpUCOV, Diphilus 
apud Eustathium. Gessner sta parlando non di galline, bensi di epiteti del gallo. 

106 Aves 707. 

107 Aristofane, Gli uccelli. (Aldrovandi) - 483. - Peisthetairos = Gabbacompagno - Peisthetairos = Companion-swindler. 

108 Gia citato a pagina 184: Quidam Alectryon nomine tyrannidem quondam gessit, et Persis primus imperasse dicitur, etiam 
antequam vel Darius, vel {Megabyzus 108 } <Megabazus>: unde etiam Gallus, ut post dicemus, ales Persica appellator. — Ne 
riportiamo anche la nota a pie' pagina relativa al qui pro quo Megabizo/Megabazo. La notizia che un certo Alektryon fu tiranno dei 
Persiani prima di tutti, anche di Dario e di Megabazo* - e non di Megabizo* -, viene dalla commedia di Aristofane Gli uccelli, 483. E 
probabile che Aldrovandi abbia dedotto l'errore dal testo di Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 404: Alectryon 
olim tyrannidem gessit, et Persis primus imperavit, etiam ante Darium et Megabyzum: unde etiamnum ab illo imperio Persica avis 
appellator, Pisthetaerus apud Aristoph. in Avibus. — A sua volta Gessner potrebbe aver dedotto l'errore da qualche testo come 
quello di Aldo Manuzio del 1498 che riporta: TtpcbtOV TtdvTCOV Sapevou KCU pe J>0t(3u(^OU . - In Aves 481 sgg. si dice 
semplicemente che in origine gli uccelli regnavano sugli uomini, e Pistetero mostrera immediatamente il gallo (ton alektryona), come 
regnava sui Persiani, prima di tutti i Dari e i Megabazi, cosicche il gallo e chiamato "uccello persiano". 

109 Pselekes, plural of pselex, possibly akin to se'lkes; but on the other hand it may stand for psilekes, i.e. bald, and may refer to some 
combless or small-combed breed of Fowls. (D'Arcy W. Thompson, A Glossary of Greek Birds, 1966 (1895)) 

110 Nicander Alexipharmaca 294: "the free-feeding fowl, when brooding her "warlike chicks," translated by A. S. F. Gow and A. F. 
Scholfield (Cambridge University Press, 1953), traduzione citata da Lind (1963) relativa al testo di Nicandro TOld TS (3o0icd<5 | 
OpToAlC, ai^prjTqaw UTtSUVrjBeiGa VSOGGOiq. presente nell'edizione di Jean de Gorris del 1557. - Tale traduzione di Gow & 
Scholfield non rispecchia assolutamente quella latina di Jean de Gorris (1505-1577): [...] mox sordes similis profunditor ovis, | qualia 
concepit coitu gallina frequenti, [...]. (Parigi, 1557) — Aldrovandi basandosi su qualche lessico - come avra fatto anche Jean de Gorris 
- non identifica i neossoi coi pulcini, ma con i galli, che sono aggressivi e focosi e che sottomettono le galline. Infatti il Thesaurus 
Graecae linguae (1572) di Henri Estienne — alias Stephanus — alia voce neottbs riporta che "per iocum foemina etiam aliqua aut 
masculus neossbs dicitur, quuum tenerae seu virentis adhuc aetatis est". Per cui questi neossoi sono dei giovani galli libidinosi, 
aggressivi, che saltano ripetutamente addosso alle galline facendo aumentare la produzione di uova, e non si tratta di pulcini 
aggressivi che stanno sotto a una chioccia. - La traduzione di Gow & Scholfield viene inficiata anche da Gessner a pagina 402 
quando tratta degli epiteti dei galli, ed e molto verosimile che Aldrovandi si sia ispirato a Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III 
(1555), pag. 402: 'OpTCtAlC, ai)(prjTf|avv UTteuvrjBsiaa VEOGGOIC,, Nicander. dixit autem neossos, id est pullos, pro gallinaceis 
adultis. 

111 Liber 9. (Aldrovandi) - IX,15,373a-16,373e. 

112 Historia animalium VI 559b 23. 

113 Etymologist: Etymologicum Magnum, ed. by T. Gaisford (Oxford, 1848). (Lind, 1963) 

114 II verbo ortak\ein e attestato solo nello scoliaste di Aristofane, che in Equites 1344 usa il composto anortali^p 'battere le ali e 
gridare in segno di vittoria, inorgoglirsi'. 

115 In Equitibus. (Aldrovandi) - 1344 (anortdlixon) . 
116 Teocnto,XIII,12. 



22 



vocabantur, et hoc in loco avis Persica non certam 
aliquam avem designat. Sunt tamen, qui 
Gallmaceum, et qui Pavonem mterpretantur. 
Pist<h>et{h}aerus 107 Galium avem Persicam 
clici tradit ab Alectryone olim, ut diximus apucl 
Persas imperante 108 . Ubi etiam Scholiastes, forte, 
mquit, Alectiyona vocat Medum avem. Nam Persas 
Medos quoque appellabant. 2epKoq Hesychio, et 
Varino Gallinaceus est, et aeXxeq Gallma<e>. 
XeiAdbveg Gallmacei qui dam {.}<,> Iidem. 
mrikr^Kec, 109 , toov aXeictpuovcov ol voBayevvai, 
Suidas, et Hesychius. 'QiSoq opviq, pro 
Gallmaceo legitur apud Pollucem. Caeterum cum 
pullus adhuc est, seu recenter natum, hoc 
Gallmaceum genus, Graecis, uti etiam {latinis} 
<Latinis>, aliter dicitur. Neoaaoq nimirum illis, 
his pullus: at Nicander ea voce pro Gallinaceo 
adulto usus est hoc versu 110 . 'OptaAu; 
al)(|i.r|Tfiaiv t)7teuvr|6eiaa veoaaoiq. Ne(3paicec; 
Hesych. et Varinus pullos Gallmaceos appellant. 
Ab Athenaeo 111 veoaaoi opviBeq, et ittttoi 
dicuntur, id est, quasi <e>quuli. Credo, mquit 
Hermolaus, quia pulli proprie sunt equorum. 
NeoTTiSeq aAeKTopiScov Kal )(r|voov Aristoteli 112 
dicuntur faemellae mvencae e Gallinaceo genere, 
vel Anserino, quae nuper scilicet parere 
coeperunt: possunt et sic dici antequam 
pepererint. 'OptaAi)(ou<; Etymologus m , et 
Varinus pullos vocant, qui nondum volare 
possunt. Hmc 6pTaAitJeiv /H , verbum de avibus 
volare incipientibus, vel de us, qui pueros in 
sublime efferunt, citato motu, et impropne 
demde de aliis motibus: Anstophani 115 vero 
superbire, et effern significat, haud dubio 
propter naturam Galli, qui, ut diximus, etiam 
6ptdAi)(oq dicitur 116 . 

Quemadmodum vero opviq apud Graecos, ut 
dictum est, eodem panter modo apud {latinos} 
< Latinos > avis aliquando pro Gallo, Gallmave 
absolute ponitur. Ita Rhodias aves pro Rhodiis 
Gallims Columella 117 dixit, et Graece 
Tavaypalouq opviBaq, genere masculino pro 
Gallmaceis Tanagraeis legimus. Apud 
probatissimos authores latinos Gallus dicitur, et 
cum adiectione Gallinaceus, et simpliciter 
quoque Gallinaceus. Unde Albertum, aliosque 
latini sermonis imperitiores hallucinari constat, 
cum Galium Gallmaceum, Capum, hoc est 
Galium castratum interpretentur. In quern 



the scholiast says on this subject: All precious things 
which the Persian king alone made use of were called Persian, 
and in this passage Persian bird does not indicate a 
specific bird., However some people interpret as 
rooster, others as peacock. Pisthetaerus says that the 
cock is called Persian bird from Alekttyon who once 
ruled the Persians. Also the scholiast on this passage 
says perhaps calls Alectryona the Median bird. For they 
called the Persians also Medes. Serkos in Hesychius 
and Varinus is the rooster and selkes are the hens. 
Cheilones are certain chickens, the same authors. 
Pselekes, ton alektiydn§n hoi nothaghennai - Pselekes, the 
bastards of the cocks, the lexicon Suidas* and 
Hesychius. In Julius Pollux* we read § t dos omis - o t dos = 
singer - for the cock. But this kind of gallinaceous, 
when it is still a chick, or is recently born, is called 
otherwise by Greeks and Latins. Precisely, for those it 
is a neossos, for these a pullus: but Nicander* in order to 
indicate a grown gallinaceous used that word in the 
following verse: Ortalis aichmetesin hypeunetheisa neossois - 
the hen lying beneath aggressive roosters. Hesychius 
and Varinus call nebrakes the gallinaceous chicks. By 
Athenaeus* they are called neossoi omithes - young 
birds, and hippoi, that is, as if they were foals. 
Hermolaus* says I do believe because the pulli* - young 
animals -properly belong to the horses. Neottides alektoridon 
kai chenon - the young pullets of hens and geese - for 
Aristotle* are said the young females of gallinaceous 
genus, or of geese, i.e. which just began to lay: they 
can also be so called before they laid. The Eymologicon 
magnum* and Varinus call ortalichous the chickens 
which cannot yet fly. Whence the verb ortali^ein for 
the birds beginning to fly or for those which by a 
quick movement cany their children aloft, and 
afterwards improperly for other activities: in fact for 
Aristophanes it means to become proud of puffed up, 
no doubt because of the rooster's nature, which, as I 
said, is also called ortdlichos - rooster, in Theocritus*. 

As it was said, as omis is used among Greeks, alike 
sometimes among Latins is used avis — bird - without 
distinction for cock or hen. So Columella* said 
Rhodian* birds for Rhodian hens, and in Greek we 
read Tanagraious omithas in the masculine gender for 
Tanagran* chickens. By very esteemed Latin authors 
Gallus is said both with addition of Gallinaceus and also 
simply as Gallinaceus. Hence it is evident that Albertus 
Magnus* and others less skilled in Latin speech are 
getting the wrong end of the stick, being that they 
interpret the Gallus Gallinaceus as capon, i.e. a castrated 
cock. Isidore* himself fell into the same error when 
calling the gallus simply as capon, relying on that 



117 De re rustica VIII,1 1,11: Neque est quod committatur ut Rhodiacae aves pavoninis incubent, quae ne suos quidem fetus 
commode nutriunt. 



23 



errorem ipsemet Isidorus 118 etiam impegit, 
Galium simpliciter Capum appellans, eo, ut 
videtur, argumento nixus, quod veteres Gallos 
castratos vocarent: cum tamen contra veteres 
classici quique Gallos mares in hoc avium genere 
nuncupent. Haud me latet interim Martialem 
alibi aperte scnbere, Galium a castratione dici, 
sed is eo loco locatur, non seno agit. Ait 
autem{.}<:>" 9 

Ne nimis exhausto macresceret inguine Gallus, 
Amisit testes, nunc mihi Gallus erit. 

Gallinae, inquit M. Varro 120 , trium sunt Generum, 
Villaticae, msticae, et Africanae. E quibus tribus 
generibus proptio nomine vocantur faeminae, quae sunt 
lillaticae gallinae, mares Galli, Capi {seminares} 
<semimares>, {quod sint castrati) <qui sunt 
castrati>. Hinc Gyb. Longolius 121 to turn hoc 
avium genus, quod de Gallmano devolat, 
Gallmaceos vocan scribens, id quoque nullo 
probata authore fretus fecisse videri potest: Cum 
Gallinarum saepius quam Gallinaceorum nomen 
universaliter pro toto genere ab authoribus 
usurpetur, quam nimirum plunes ut videmus in 
hoc genere, quam mares propter utilitatem, 
alantur Faeminae enim ut post suo loco patebit, 
maximam propter partum praebent utilitatem, et 
unus mas multis sufficit. Gallinaceus a Gallma 
fieri videtur, et vel simpliciter pro Gallo ponitur, 
vel tanquam epitheton ei adiungitur, differentiae 
fortassis gratia, ut nimirum amphibologia 
evitetur. 



reasoning, it seems, according to which the ancients 
called the roosters as castrated: while however on the 
contrary every first-class ancient writer is naming the 
roosters as males among this genus of birds. In the 
meantime I don't miss that Martial* somewhere 
clearly writes that a Gaul is so called from castration, 
but in that passage he is joking, he is not in earnest. 
For he says: 

The cock, lest he should grow too thin having dried up the lower 

belly, 

gave up his testicles, now he will be for me a Gallus — a priest 
ofCybele*. 

Marcus Varro* says Hens are of three kinds, courtyard, wild 
and African. Of these three kinds with fitting name are called 
females those which are courtyard hens, males the cocks, capons 
the half males, which are castrated. Therefore being that 
Gisbert Longolius* writes that this entire genus of 
birds is called gallinaceous because it flies down from 
poultry pen, we can also think that he did so without 
basing himself on some esteemed author: for by 
authors it is generally used the word gallinae -hens - 
more often than that of gallinacei for the entire genus, 
as we just notice that among this genus very often the 
females are raised for utility instead of males, and in 
fact, as it will appear in its proper place, they offer a 
very great utility because of offspring, and only one 
male suffices for many females. They guess that 
gallinaceus comes from gallina, and is either used alone 
for the rooster or is added to it as an adjective, 
perhaps because of the difference, in order that just 
an ambiguity is avoided. 



Page 190 



Nam et Galli, ut diximus [190] populi sunt, et 
Cybeles sacerdotes sic vocabantur, et aliis 
quibusdam idem nomen convenit. Varro 122 
plerasque volucrum a vocibus suis dictas tradit, 
atque inter eas Gallinam, et Anserem in primis 



For the Galli*' - the Gauls - are also a people, as I said, 
and the priests of Cybele* were so called, and the 
same name is befitting some others. Varro* records 
that the majority of birds takes the name from their 
calls, and among them he quotes first of all the hen 



riae XII,7: Gallus a castratione vocatus; inter ceteras enim aves huic solo testiculi adimuntur. Veteres enim abscisos gallos 
vocabant. Sicut autem a leone leaena et a dracone dracaena, ita a gallo gallina. Cuius membra, ut ferunt quidam, si auro liquescenti 
misceantur, consumi. 

119 Hpigrammata 13, 63 CAPONES: Ne nimis exhausto macresceret inguine gallus, | amisit testes. Nunc mihi gallus erit. 

120 Aldrovandi amputa la sequenza del testo di Varrone, tratto dal Rerum rusticarum 111,9,1-3: Igitur sunt gallinae quae vocantur 
generum trium: villaticae et rusticae et Africanae. [2] Gallinae villaticae sunt, quas deinceps rure habent in villis. De his qui 
ornithoboscion instituere vult, id est adhibita scientia ac cura ut capiant magnos fructus, ut factitaverunt Deliaci, haec quinque 
maxime animadvertant oportet; de emptione, cuius modi et quam multas parent; de fetura, quern ad modum admittant et pariant; 
de ovis, quern ad modum incubent et excudant; de pullis, quern ad modum et a quibus educentur; hisce appendix adicitur pars 
quinta, quern ad modum saginentur. [3] Ex quis tribus generibus proprio nomine vocantur feminae quae sunt villaticae gallinae, 
mares galli, capi semimares, qui sunt castrati. 

121 Dialogus de avibus et earum nominibus Graecis, Latinis, et Germanicis (1544). 

122 p orse j n £) e lifig Ua latina VIII,103: Multa ab animalium vocibus tralata in homines, partim quae sunt aperta, partim obscura; 
meglio in V,75: de his [scilicet volucribus] pleraeque ab suis vocibus ut haec: upupa, cuculus, corvus, hirundo, ulula, bubo; item 
haec: pavo, anser, gallina, columba. 



24 



nominat. Ego Gallinam eiusmodi vocem edere 
numquam audivi, nee apud alium legi: quod si 
vero consimilem vocem ederet hoc avium genus, 
cur non et ita Graecis dicitur? Quare satis non 
laudare nequeo Iosephum Scaligerum 123 , qui 
dictionem Gallus raxpa To KaAXoi; derivat. 
{KdAAoc;} <KdAAcuov> autem palea est, quae 
hisce avibus quasi soils convemt. Ornithologus 124 
Pumiliones simpliciter Gallinas alibi 

interpretation mihi contra like diversum, ac 
peculiare genus esse videntur, ut post dicam, 
simpliciter vero Gallinas existimo quas Varro 
villaticas, Plmius villares, et altiles, Columella 
cohortales aves appellat. 125 

Gallus penphrastice varus modis a Poetis 

vocatur, ut ales excubitor {Virgilio} 

<Vergilio> 126 . 

Excubitorque diem cantu {patefecerat) <praedixeraf> 

ales, 

Avis lucis Martiali. 127 

Cristataeque sonant undique lucis aves. 

Ales cnstati oris Ovidio. 128 

Non ligil ales ibi cristati cantibus oris, etc. 

Eodem modo de Gallinis penphrastice 

loquuntur, unde Ovidio, et Martiali Cortis, sive 

cohortis aves dicuntur: Ovidius, 129 

Abstulerat multas {ille} <illa> cohortis aves. 

Martialis 130 

Si {Lybicae} <Ubycae> volucres nobis, et Phasides 

essent, 

Acciperes, at nunc accipe cortis aves. 

Comici, teste Hermolao Gallinas quandoque 
Mylacridas vocant: quanquam Aristophanes 131 ita 



and the goose. I never heard the gallina - hen - to utter 
such a sound, nor did I ever read in someone else: if 
truly this genus of birds utters such a sound, why is it 
not thus called by the Greeks as well? Therefore I 
cannot sufficiently praise Joseph Scaliger* for deriving 
the term gallus from para to kdllos* - from the beauty. 
In fact kdllaion {is the wattle} <is the comb>, which 
in some way is belonging only to these birds. The 
Ornithologist elsewhere is interpreting bantam hens 
merely as hens: on the contrary it seems to me that 
they are a different and a specific breed, as I shall tell 
later, and sincerely I think that they are simply hens 
those called by Varro courtyard hens, by Pliny* of 
farm and to be fattened, by Columella* barnyard 
birds. 

The cock is called in various ways by poets, having 

recourse to periphrases, like sentry bird by Vergil*: 

And by his crowing the winged sentinel had announced the day. 

Bird of light by Martial*: 

And everywhere resound the combed birds of light. 

Head combed bird by Ovid*: 

Not here the watchful head combed bird with songs, etc. 

Vlike they say with periphrases about hens, whence by 

Ovid and Martial they are called barnyard or pen's birds. 

Ovid: 

She - the fox - had taken away many pen 's birds. 

Martial: 

If we had Libyan* and Phasian* birds, 

You would receive them, but now accept barnyard birds. 



The comic poets, witness is Hermolaus*, sometimes 
call hens mylakridas*: although Aristophanes* is so 



123 In Verborum etymologia. (Aldrovandi) 

124 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 380: Et primum DE GALLIS sive Gallinis quae a regionibus et locis 
denominantur, nee aliter a villaticis communibus differunt quam magnitudine, aut etiam pugnacitate. - Anche Pierre Belon* e dello 
stesso parere di Conrad Gessner. Ecco il testo di Pierre Belon Histoire de la nature des qyseaux (1555) - Des Poulles de diverses sortes. 
Chap. VIII. Page 246 - Nous en cognoissons seulement de deux sortes, comme aussi faisoit Aristote, lesquelles au premier chapitre 
du sixiesme livre des animaux, il distingue, appellant les unes genereuses ou fecondes, les autres non nobles, & infecondes. De celles 
que nous avons, l'une est de petite stature, commune en tous lieux: l'autre est de grande corpulence, qui n'est si commune que la 
precedente. Aristote au premier chapitre du sixiesme livre des animaux, & Pline au cinquante-troisiesme chapitre du dixiesme livre 
de l'histoire naturelle, entendent que les communes petites Poulles estoyent nommees Hadrianes: car ils dient en ceste sorte. Les 
Poulles Hadrianes sont de petite corpulence, & qui ponnent par chacun iour, & sont de diverses couleurs. Varro a nomme telles 
Poulles, Villatiques, e'est a dire, nourries en village: lesquelles Columelle appelle autrement Cohortales. Voila de nostre petite Poulle 
commune. 

125 Varrone JLerum rusticarum 111,9.3; Plinio Naturaiis historia X,116; Columella De re rustica VIII,2,1. 

126 Moretum 1-2: lam nox hibernas bis quinque peregerat horas | excubitorque diem cantu praedixerat ales,[...]. — E assai verosimile 
che Aldrovandi abbia fatto un download da Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 405: Excubitorque diem cantu 
patefecerat ales, Vergilius. 

127 Hpigrammata XIV, 223,2. 

128 MetamorphosesXI,957. 

129 Fasti IV,703-704: Is capit extremi volpem convalle salicti: | abstulerat multas ilia cohortis aves. 

130 Epigram matalH\\,4S: Si Libycae nobis volucres et Phasides essent, | acciperes, at nunc accipe chortis aves. 



25 



appellet bestiolam, quae inter molas nascitur. 
Pullus generale nomen est omnium alitum, et 
quadruped<i>um etiam quorundam foetus, pulli 
dicuntur, ut equi, et asini, sed praecipue avium, 
et inter eas Gallinarum maxime per excellentiam. 
Invenimus vero pullos pro Gallmaceis absolute 
poni apud Vegetium 132 , aliosque. Plmius 133 etiam 
arborum atque plantarum pullos dixit, unde 
verba, pullulare, pullescere, pullulascere, et 
pullatio pro foetura pullorum apud 
Columellam 134 . Quidam etiam ex recentioribus 
faeminmo genere pullas efferunt. Pullaster, vel 
pullastra sigmficat Galium, vel Gallmam 



calling an insect which originates among millstones. 
Pullus* - chick - is a usual name for all birds, and also 
offspring of some quadrupeds like horse and donkey 
are called pulli, but chiefly of birds, and among them 
par excellence mainly of hens. Truly in Vegetius* and 
others we find that pulli is used exclusively for 
gallinaceous. Pliny called pulli also those of trees and 
plants, whence the verbs pullulare, pullescere, pullulascere - 
to sprout, and in Columella pullatio - sitting on eggs - 
for incubation of chicks. Some among more recent 
writers give them in the feminine gender with pullae. 
Pullaster or pullastra means young cock or hen. So also 
by Marcus Varro are called pullastrae the young hens, 



131 Aristophanes Fragment 583 (ed. by F. W. Hall and W. M. Geldart, Oxford University Press, 1907). (Lind, 1963) 

132 j\ r fi s veterinariae, sive mulomedicinae libri quatuor. 

133 Naturalis historia XXVII,131: Circa Ariminum nota est herba quam reseda vocant. Discutit collectiones inflammationesque 
omnes. Qui curant ea, addunt haec verba: Reseda, morbos reseda; scisne, scisne, quis hie pullus egerit radices? Nee caput nee pedes 
habeat. haec ter dicunt totiensque despuunt. 

134 De re rusticaVIII,5,9. 

135 Varro, 3. 9. 9. (Lind, 1963) Pero Lind non fa notare che il testo di Varrone non contiene la p&rola. pullastris, bensi pullitris. Ecco 
cosa dice la versione in mio possesso del Rerum rustkarum 111,9,9: Itaque quae ante aut post nata sunt et etiam prima eo tempore, 
non supponenda; et ea quae subicias, potius vetulis quam pullitris, et quae rostra aut ungues non habeant acutos, quae debent potius 
in concipiendo occupatae esse quam incubando. Adpositissimae ad partum sunt anniculae autbimae. - Alcuni codici hanno pullistris. 

136 Caius Suetonius Tranquillus Vita Dili Augusti, 87: Cotidiano sermone quaedam frequentius et notabiliter usurpasse eum, litterae 
ipsius autographae ostentant, in quibus identidem, cum aliquos numquam soluturos significare vult, "ad Kal. Graecas soluturos" ait; 
et cum hortatur ferenda esse praesentia, qualiacumque sint: "contenti simus hoc Catone"; et ad exprimendam festinatae rei 
velocitatem: "celerius quam asparagi cocuntur"; ponit assidue et pro stulto "baceolum" et pro pullo "pulleiaceum" et pro cerrito 
"vacerrosum" et "vapide" se habere pro male et "betizare" pro languere, quod vulgo "lachanizare" dicitur; item "simus" pro sumus 
et "domos" genetivo casu singulari pro domus. 

137 La frase e l'errore sono quasi certamente dedotti da Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 458: Pro pullo 
pulleiacium Augustus dicere solebat, ut ait Tranquillus. 

138 Aelius Lampridius: Scriptores Historiae Augustae*, Life of S everus Alexander, 41. 7. (Lind, 1963) 

139 Questa volta il download da Gessner e mal riuscito, in quanto e inficiato da un errore di copiatura: Genilette invece di Genillete, 
come viene a sua volta erroneamente riferito da Conrad Gessner in Historia animalium III (1555) pag. 415: Sabaudis similiter, vel 
genillete. Anglice hen, Germanice Hen, Him. — II gessneriano genillete invece di gelinette - che in francese significa gallinella — e 
chiaramente un errore. Ce lo conferma il Thresor de la langue franfoyse di Jean Nicot (1606) da cui riportiamo alcuni vocaboli connessi 
con geline, la gallina. GELINE: Geline, f. oupoulle, Gallina. Les gelines crient, Pipant gallinae. Gelines d'Afrique, Meleagrides. Ce temps que les 
gelines pondent, Ovatio. Qui nourrit gelines, Gallinarius. Plin. He lieu oil on nourrit les gelines et autres oiseaux, Ornithoboscium. Va geline pond 
par le bee, id est, par estre bien nourrie. - GELINETTE: Gelinette, f. Gallinula, Pullastra, C'est le diminutif de geline. — GELINIER: Gelinier, m. 
Gallinarium, Gallinarum officina. L,« lieu ou les gelines se retirent pour jucher. Ueschelle du gelinier, Scala gallinaria. Celsus. — Se non bastasse, 
ecco un proverbio tedesco tradotto in francese: Was von Hennen kommt, scharrt auch. Qui est extrait de gelinette il ne peut qui ne 
gratte. - Le Thresor de la langue franfoyse (1606) de Jean Nicot est le point de depart de la lexicographie francaise. Somme des quatre 
editions du Dictionaire franfoislatin de Robert Estienne, oeuvre qui marque le passage du dictionnaire latin au francais comme langue 
source, il revet, par les contributions de Nicot, le caractere d'un dictionnaire francais monolingue. Ce faisant, il ouvre la voie aux 
dictionnaires de Richelet, de Furetiere, de l'Academie francaise et de lexicographes posterieurs tels que Littre. II n'est pas exagere de 
dire que 1' article de dictionnaire, du moins en ce qui concerne la lexicographie francaise, a ete elabore par Nicot. A peu pres tout 
type d'information ainsi que tout procede de description utilises depuis dans un dictionnaire francais se trouvent deja dans les pages 
du Thresor. - Gessner non cade in questo errore quando a pagina 223* parla del francolino*: Avis cuius effigiem supra posuimus, 
Italis vocatur pernis alpedica, vel perdice alpestre, id est perdix alpina, in locis scilicet qui non procul alpibus distant, ut circa lacum 
Verbanum, ab aliis fasanella, ut Bellinzonae: aliis francolino. Gallis, gelinette, vel gelinette sauvage, id est gallina sylvestris, in 
Burgundia et Lothoringia: [...]. 

140 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 380: Gallice un cocq, gau, geau, gal, cog. Hispanice gallo. Germanice, 
Hahn/Hausshahn/Gul/Guggel. Nam vocabulum Him atsi pro gallina fere usurpatur, tamen communius est ad omne gallinaceum 
genus. Anglice cok. Illyrice kokot. 

141 Prosper Alpinus (Alpini), De Medicina Aegyptiorum libri quatuor (Venice, 1591; Paris, 1645; Leyden, 1745), Book III, Chapter 16, p. 
233. (Lind, 1963) 

142 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 458: Pullus Italice dicitur polio, pollastro, pulcin<o>. sed hie proprie tener 
adhuc et implumis, pullastro maiusculus et iam mensis aptus. Gallice poulsin, poussin, pol, pollet, cochet, et pollaille de pullastra 
adultiore. Germanice Huenle, Hiinckel. Anglice chyck. 



26 



adolescentes. Ita et a M. Varrone 135 Pullastrae 
dicuntur Gallmae iuvencae, dum ait: {Ea qua 
subijcias potius e vetulis, quam e Pullastris] <et ea quae 
subidas, potius vetulis quam pullitris>. Quare 
Grapaldum satis mirari nequeo, qui Pullastrum, 
et Pullastram neoterice (ut ems dictione utar) 
vocari scribit. Hermolaus vero, Sipontinus, et 
Platina, pullastrae vocabulo pro parva Gallma 
utuntur. Augustus, ut Tranquillus 136 memorat, 
{Pulleiacium} <Pulleiaceum> 137 pro Pullo dicere 
solebat. Lampndius 138 Pullicenos appellat parvos 
pullos, quasi pullicenus diminutivum sit a pullo. 
Ems verba sunt. Servos habuit vectigales, qui eos ex 
oiis, et pullicenis et Pipionibus alerent. Sed forte 
potius legas pullicinis. Haec enim vox ad 
Italorum pulcmo, vel pullicino propius accedit, 
quos earn a vetenbus Romanis retinuisse 
probabile est. Galium Itali Gallo dicunt, 
Gallmam, Gallma: Galli, Galium un coq Gau, 
Gaeu, Gal, Cog, quarum vocum prima, et ultima 
a Graeco kottoc; denvatae viden possunt. 
Gallmam vero Gelme, vel Poule, {Sebaudi} 
<Sabaudi> eisdem vocibus utuntur, sed 
Gallmam etiam {Genilette} <Gelinette> 139 
vocant. Hispams etiam Gallus Gallo appellatur, 
et Gallina, Gallma. Hun dictio Germanica 140 tarn 
Gallo, quam Gallinae quadrat, Galium vero Han, 
Hansshan, Gul, et Guggel, et Gallmam Hen. 
Angli Galium Cok, Gallmam Hen. Aegyptn 
Gallmas pingues appellant Maluph, ut scribit 
Prosper Alpmus 141 praestantissimus medicus, et 
in celeberrimo Patavino gymnasio simplicium 
medicamentorum professor. Pullus Italis Polio 
vocatur, Pollastro, et Pulcmo, sed hie tener 
adhuc, et implumis, Pollastro maiusculus, et iam 
mensis aptus. Gallis poulsin, pol, pollet, Cochet, 
et pollaille, de pullastra adultiore. Germanis 142 
Huonle, Hunckel: Anglis chijk, Flandns kijcken, 
Hollandis Kuijcken. 

Cum vero pleraque, quae de ovis scnbuntur 
passim ab authonbus, de Gallinarum 
mtelligantur, non ab re, qum operae pretium, ac 
omnino necessarium iudico, non tan turn hie 
eorum synonyma, verumetiam quomodo 
smgulae partes appellentur, recensere. Ova 
itaque Hebraice bezah dici mvenio. In lexico 
trilmgui KP3 et W2 beza, et beia scnbitur. 
Arabes beid, vel baid vocant, ut apud Avicennam 
videre est. Apud Serapionem naid legitur, quod 
non probo, Sylvaticus baadh scribit pro Arabica 
voce, et alibi barch, et elbair, nescio cuius linguae 
vocabula ova mterpretatur, sed forte etiam 
Arabica fuennt, et corrupta. Latini ovum a 



when he says: and those eggs you place under, it is preferable 
under rather old hens than under pullets. Which is why I 
cannot enough admire Francesco Mario Grapaldi* 
who writes that neoterice - in modern speech - (to use 
his own expression) they are called pullaster and 
pullastra. Verily, Hermolaus, Nicolo Perotto* and 
Platina* use the word pullastra for a little hen. 
Augustus*, as Suetonius Tranquillus* reminds, used 
to say pulleiacius for pullus. Lampndius* calls little 
chicks pulliceni, as though pullicenus were a diminutive 
from pullus. His words are: He had hired servants, so as 
they feed them with eggs, with pulliceni and pigeons. But 
perhaps one should rather read pullicini. For this word 
sounds more like pulcino or pullicino of Italians, who 
probably have retained it from ancient Romans. The 
Italians call gallo the gallus, gallina the gallina: the French 
call the gallus un coq, Gau, Gaeu, Gal, Cog, whose words 
the first and the last could appear to be derived from 
the Greek kottos - rooster according to Hesychius*. 
Whereas they call the hen geline, or poule, the 
inhabitants of Savoy use the same words, but they call 
the hen also gelinette. By Spaniards too the cock is 
called gallo, and the hen gallina. The German word 
Hiin fits both rooster and hen, but they call the 
rooster Hahn, Hausshahn, Gul and Guggel, and the hen 
Huhn. The English call the rooster cock; the hen hen. 
The Egyptians call fat hens maluph, as writes Prosper 
Alpmus*, most excellent physician and professor of 
simple medicaments at the very renowned gymnasium 
in Padua. Pullus by Italians is called polio, pollastro and 
pulcino, but the latter when is still very young and 
featherless, pollastro when is a little more grown-up 
and already fit for tables. By French is called pulsin, 
pol, pollet, cochet, and polaille for a pullastra more adult. 
By Germans is called Huenle, Hunckel. by English chijk, 
by Flemish kijcken, by Dutch kuijcken. 



Since without doubt most of which here and there is 
written by authors on eggs is referring to those of the 
hens, I don't reckon useless, on the contrary it is 
worthwhile and absolutely necessary, to examine here 
not only their synonyms, but also how each of their 
parts is named. So I find that eggs are called be^ah in 
Hebrew. Both be^a and beia are written in the trilingual 
lexicon. The Arabs call them beid or baid, as one can 
see in Avicenna*. In Serapion* naid is read, which I 
do not approve, Matthaeus Sylvaticus* writes baadh 
for the Arabic word, and elsewhere barch, and elbair, I 
don't know of what language he translates the words 
eggs, but perhaps were also Arabic, and corrupt. It 
seems that Latins derived ovum from §,6n of Greeks, 



27 



Graecorum cbov derivasse videntur, interposita 
litera v euphomae gratia. Graeci 143 vero cbov, 
teste Etymologo, dixerunt, quasi oiov, hoc est 
solitarium, quia singula panantur, Poetarum 
aliqui 144 ovum ooiiov vocant, vel ouov, si recte 
scribitur, Eustathius 145 hoc omittit, ooeov et ooiiov 
tantum habet. Apud Athenaeum 146 etiam ooeov 
legitur. Alii obapiov, dicunt forma diminutiva. 



after they interposed a letter v for euphony. Bearing 
witness the Etymologist*, actually Greeks said oon, 
nearly own, that is solitary, because they are laid one at 
a time, some poets call the egg won, or oiion, if it is 
correctly written, Eustathius* is omitting this, and he 
has only oeon and won. In Athenaeus* one can also 
read oeon. Others say oarion in the diminutive form. 



Page 191 



Hodie vulgo [191] auyo nommant 147 . Itali ovo, et 
uovo, Galli oeuf, Germani ey, Angli an egge. 
Partium ovi quae pnmum oculis sese offert, 
aliqui putamen vocant, Serenus testam, Plinius 148 
calicem quandoque. Graecis 149 iceAicpoq dicitur, 
quod Suidas mterpretatur To AeTtupov xox> opot>: 
item AeTtoq, ut Anatolio 150 , et Aejijia 
Aristophani 151 , Lycophroni 152 celyphanon, 
quanquam eo nomine quilibet cortex censeri 
valeat. Hippocrati 153 Aettupia, Aristoteli 154 
oatpaicov. A qua postrema dictione Nicandri 155 
Scholiastes avoatpaica ova nominat, quae sine 
putamine redduntur. Et ostracoderma dicuntur 
quae testaceo putamine obducuntur testea, ova 
Macrobio dicta: malacoderma vero quae molli 
cute teguntur. AeKiBoq ab Artemidoro 156 etiam 
pro putamine accipi videtur, nisi forte, lectio 



Today usually they call it avgo. The Italians ovo and 
uovo, the French oeuf, the Germans ey, the English an 
egge. Some call putamen - shell — that part of the egg 
firstly offering itself to the eyes, Serenus* calls it testa, 
Pliny* sometimes calix. By Greeks it is called kelyphos, 
which Suidas* lexicon interprets to lepjron tou §pu - the 
egg's shell: likewise /epos, as for Anatolius*, and lemma 
for Aristophanes*, kelyphanon for Lycophron*, 
although into this word could be included any sort of 
coating. For Hippocrates* it is lepyria - the shells, for 
Aristotle* ostrakon. From the latter word the scholiast* 
quotes the anostraka eggs of Nicander*, which are laid 
without shell*. And are called ostracodenna those eggs 
covered by a shell earthenware-like, called by 
Macrobius* earthenware eggs: but malacoderma those 
covered by a soft wrapping. Ukithos — yolk - seems to 
be meant by Artemidorus* also for eggshell, unless 
the reading is perhaps corrupt: others agree that by 



143 A causa degli eccessivi errori di greco nel testo di Aldrovandi, ci affidiamo a Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 
451: Ovum Latini a Graeco CpOV dixerunt, interposita v. litera euphoniae causa. Graeci vero COOV quasi OIOV, hoc est solitarium. 
singula enim pariuntur, Etymologus. Hodie vulgo Ctuyo nominant. Itali ovo, Galli oeuf. Germani ey. Angli an egge. Ovum ex poetis 
aliqui cai'ov vocant, vel Oli'ov, (si recte scribitur, Eustatius hoc omittit GDSOV et cai'ov tantum ponit, etc. Alexis r|pvTopa CQCOV dixit. 
'O'lOU TtoAu AsuiCOTspov, Sappho, alii GDSOV, Athenaeus. Alii CQCtpiOV diminutiva forma. Idem et Eustathius. KtlAct t'oSsa 
ppU^COV, Nicander. id est mansuetarum ovium ova comedens. 

144 Saffo* in Ateneo D eipnosophistai 11,50,57 d. 

145 p. 1686,47 ad Odysseam XI 302. 

146 II,50,58a. 

147 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 451: Hodie vulgo Ctuyo nominant. — L'etimologia di au^O e dell'equivalente 
dpvo e la seguente: Ta d)a > Taua > T auya / T dpya che sono owiamente il plurale di uovo. La forma attualmente in uso e 
auvo, mentre e passata in secondo piano la forma dimotiki dpvo. 

148 Naturalis historia XXVIII,19: Hue pertinet ovorum, quis exorbuerit quisque, calices coclearumque protinus frangi aut isdem 
coclearibus perforari. 

149 Cfr. Aristotele De generatione animalium II 743a 17. 

150 Upos, guscio, e testimoniato in Ateneo II p. 55c, Nicandro Theriaca 943. 

151 Aves 673. 

152 Lycophron, Alexandra (ed. by E. Scheer, Berlin, 1881), line 89. (Lind, 1963) — II sostantivo neutro ICsAucpavov significa guscio e 
fu usato oltre che da Licofrone anche da Luciano*. 

153 Hippocrates Uber deNaturaPueri 22. (Lind, 1963) 

154 De generatione animalium III 758b. 

155 Nicander Alexipharmaca 295, "with scholia. Macrobius, Saturnalia, and Artemidorus Daldianus, Onirocriticus (ed. by R. Hercher, 
Leipzig, 1864), are the other sources mentioned below. (Lind, 1963) 

156 Onirocriticon lib. 5. somnio 85. (Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 453). 



28 



corrupta sit: alii ea voce vitellum significari 
volunt. Annara, et Amiantus 157 apucl Sylvaticum 
pro ovorum testa accipiuntur. 

Quod autem rupto iam ovo apparet, id 
Aristoteles To Agukov tot) coot), Cornelius 
Celsus 158 ovi album, ovi candidum Plinius 159 , et 
albumen, ut quidam citant, (ego plerunque 
semper ovi candidum ab eo nomman invenio) 
album liquorem Columella 160 , Palladius 161 
alborem ovi, Apicius 162 albamentum ovi 
vocabant: candidam undam Martialis per 
periphrasin hoc versu 163 . 

Candida si croceos circumfluit unda vitellos. 
Recentiores quidam ex Graecis transferentes ovi 
aquatum, et tenuem ovi liquorem, indoctiores 
albugmem, cum tamen albugo propne sit in 
oculo macula, sive cicatrix altiuscula, sicut utique 
in summo nubecula, ut probi authores docent. 
Legimus et ovi album succum apud Plinium 164 in 
ramicosi mfantis remedio: ut apud Serenum 165 
quoque candidum ovi succum. Itali la chiara 
delPovo, Galli de Blanc d'ung Oeuf 166 , aut aubun 
d'oeuf, Germani superiores das Klar oder vvyss 
lm ey, inferiores dat wit vant ey. 



this word the yolk is meant. In Mattheus Sylvaticus* 
annara and amianthus* are meant as eggshell. 

Now, what is visible as soon as an egg has been 
broken, Aristotle called it to leukon tou opu - the white 
of the egg, Cornelius Celsus* ovi album, Pliny ovi 
candidum and albumen, as some people are quoting 
(most often I find that by him it is always called ovi 
candidum), Columella* white liquid, Palladius* 
whiteness of the egg, Apicius* albamentum ovi: Martial* 
snow-white wave, by a periphrasis with this verse: 
If a snow-white wave flows around the saffron yolks. 
Some more recent authors, while translating from 
Greeks, call it egg's watery solution, and egg's thin 
fluid, and those less skilful leucoma, but whereas in fact 
the albugo is a patch present in the eye, either a rather 
raised scar, anyway at the most like a little cloud, as 
trustworthy authors point out. In Pliny, in a remedy 
for an infant suffering from hernia, we read also the 
white juice of the egg: as in Serenus Sammonicus 
snow-white egg's juice. The Italians call it la chiara 
dell'ovo, the French le blanc d'un oeuf, or aubun d'oeuf, the 
northern Germans das Klar oder — or - wyss im ey, the 
southern ones dat wit vant ey. 



157 In greco amiantos = puro, incorruttibile. — La citazione di Aldrovandi e monca ed enigmatica. Piu appropriata e quella di Conrad 
Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 449: Amiantum Sylvaticus interpretatur testas ovorum e quibus pulli in nido 
excluduntur, manifesto errore, cum amiantus genus lapidis sit. hoc forsan fieri potest, ut ad medicinam amianti loco testae ovorum 
usurpari possint. 

158 £) e rnedidfia V,2: Glutinant vulnus murra, tus, cummi, praecipueque acanthinum; psylleum, tragacanfha, cardamomon, bulbi, lini 
semen, nasturcium; ovi album, gluten, icthyocolla; vitis alba, contusae cum testis suis cocleae, mel coctum; spongia vel ex aqua 
frigida vel ex vino vel ex aceto expressa; ex iisdem lana sucida; si levis plaga est, etiam aranea. - VI,6: [...] excipere oportet ovi albo, 
donee mellis crassitudinem habeat, idque in linteolum inlinere, et fronti adglutinare, ut conpressis venis pituitae impetum cohibeat. 

159 Natura/is historia XXVIII,66: oculos firmitatis causa, inlinit sole usta cum ovi albo, [...] - XXIX,40: candido ovorum in oculis et 
pili reclinantur [...]. 

160 Y)e re rustica VI,38,2: Suffraginosae ordeacea farina imponitur, mox suppuratio ferro reclusa linamentis curatur; vel gari optimi 
sextarius cum libra olei per narem sinistram demittitur, admisceturque huic medicamini trium vel quattuor ovorum albus liquor 
separatis vitellis. 

161 Opus Agriculturae XI,14,9: In album colorem vina fusca mutari, si ex fab a lomentum factum vino quia adiciat vel ouorum trium 
lagenae infundat alborem diuque commoveat: sequenti die candidum reperiri. Quod si ex afra pisa lomentum adiciatur, eadem die 
posse mutari. 

162 Y) e re coquinaria V,3,4: Pisum coques, agitabis et mittis in frigidam. cum refrigeraverit, deinde agitabis. concidis cepam minutatim 
et albamentum ovi, oleo et sale condies, aceti modicum adicies. in boletari vitellum ovi cocti colas, insuper oleum viridem mittis et 
inferes. - VI,9,12: obligas cum albamentis ovorum tritis, ponis in lance, et iure supradicto perfundis. 

163 Epigrammaton liber XIII,XL, OVA - Candida si croceos circunfluit unda vitellos, | Hesperius scombri temperet ova liquor. 

164 Naturalis historia XXX,1 36: Coclearum saliva inlita infantium oculis palpebras corrigit gignitque. Ramicosis coclearum cinis cum 
ture ex ovi albo specillo inlitus per dies XXX medetur. 

165 Q. Serenus Uber Medicinalis, in 1,107 hexameters, (ed. by Fr. Vollmer) in Corpus Medicorum Latinorum, II (Leipzig, 1916), is based 
on Pliny; see Phi/o/ogus 75. 128-33; Pliny, 30. 15. 47. 136. Dioscorides, mentioned below, wrote De Materia Medica (ed. by M. 
Wellmann, Berlin, 1906-14) and Alexipharmaca and Theriaca (ed. by K. Sprengel) in Kuehn, Medici Graeci, xxv, xxvi (Leipzig, 1829). 
(Lind, 1963) 

166 La fonte e quasi certamente Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 452: Galli de blanc d'ung oeuf, aubun d'oeuf. 
Itali volume de lovo. 



29 



Interior ovi liquor, qui lutei coloris est, Plinio 167 
vitellus, et luteum ovi vocatur. Recentiores 
quidam etiam vitellum genere neutro efferunt, 
uti et Gaza quoque contra veterum authontatem. 
Vitellus a vita dictus est quod ex eo vivat pullus, 
Graeci modo Lecython appellant, modo \pvaov, 
Hippocrates 168 etiam To )(Acop6v, Aristo teles 169 
cb)(p6v, et alibi AeicuBov faeminino genere 170 , uti 
et Dioscondes toov cbcbv xa vpuad mvenio apud 
Athenaeum, et coot) To Ttuppov apud Suidam. 
Veteres quandoque etiam ovi luteum veortov 
vocabant, id est, pullum, nimirum quod pullum 
ex eo nasci, formarique existimarent, Itali torlo 
dell'ovo vocant, Galli le moyen d'un oeuf, le 
laulne, Germani todter, vel tutter, forte, ut ait 
Ornithologus 171 , quia mamillam tutten 
nuncupant. Alitur autem pullus vitello intra 
ovum, succo ems attracto, ut infans in lucem 
editus lacte mamillae. Belgae dat geel vant ey. 
Ozonab Sylvaticus exponit pro vitello ovi. 



GENUS. DIFFERENTIAE. 

Ornithologus 172 Gallorum, ac Gallinarum 
differentias a regionibus, ac locis quibus degunt 
potissimum desumi, atque ita non aliter quam 
magnitudine, aut etiam pugnacitate vult differre. 
Differunt tamen et in alns, ut ex subsequentibus 
patebit. Inter eas, quae a vetenbus celebrantur, 
Gallmas, Hadnanae 173 , sive, ut vocavit 



The more inner fluid of the egg, which is yellow, is 
called by Pliny utellus — yolk - and yellow of the egg. 
Some more recent writers report vitellum in the neuter 
too, as also does Gaza* against the example of the 
ancients. Vitellus takes the name from vita — life - 
because the chick draws the life from it, sometimes 
the Greeks call it {lecython} <lekithos>, sometimes 
chrysos - gold, Hippocrates also to Moron - yellowish, 
blond -, Aristotle ochron - the yellow, and elsewhere 
lekithos — yolk - in the feminine gender, for example I 
find in Athenaeus* that also Dioscorides* says ten opn 
ta chtysd, and in the lexicon Suidas §pu to pyrron - the 
fire-red of the egg. The ancients sometimes called 
neotton also the yellow of the egg, that is chick, without 
doubt because they thought that the chick was born 
and formed from it, the Italians call it torlo dell'ovo, the 
French le moyen d'un oeuf, le iaulne, the Germans todter, 
or tutter, perhaps, as the Ornithologist says, because 
they call tutten — nipple - the female's breast. In fact 
the chick within the egg nourishes himself by the yolk, 
attracted by its life juice, as an infant who has been 
born is attracted by breast's milk. The Belgians dat geel 
vant ey. Sylvaticus reports ozonab for the egg's yolk. 

GENUS - DIFFERENCES 

The Ornithologist asserts that the differences of 
cocks and hens can first be inferred from regions and 
places where they live, and that for the same reason 
they differ in size or in pugnacity too. But they differ 
also in other things, as it will be evident from what is 
following. Among the hens extolled by ancients first 
of all are appearing the Hadrianae*, or, as Aristotle 



167 Naturalis historia X,148: Omnibus ovis medio vitelli parva inest velut sanguinea gutta, quod esse cor avium existimant, primum in 
omni corpore id gigni opinantes: in ovo certe gutta ea salit palpitatque. - XXX,141: [...] item si lutea ex ovis quinis columbarum 
admixta adipis suilli denarii pondere ex melle sorbeantur, passeres in cibo vel ova eorum, gallinacei dexter testis arietina pelle 
adalligatus. 

168 L'unico riferimento e opii to Moron di Zopiro, presso Oribasio*, XIV 61,1 - non Ippocrate. 

169 Historia animalium VI 560a 21. 

170 p er esem pi "Historia animalium VI 560a 29. 

171 Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 452: Itali vitellum appellant tu<o>rlo de l'ovo: Galli le moyen d'un oeuf, le 
iaulne: Germani todter vel tutter: forte quia mamillam tutten appellant. 

172 Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 380: Et primum DE GALLIS sive Gallinis quae a regionibus e locis 
denominantur, nee aliter a villaticis communibus differunt quam magnitudine, aut etiam pugnacitate. 

173 Fantasmagorica la disquisizione sulle galline Hadrianae da parte di Aldrovandi. Siamo pertanto costretti a citare per esteso il testo 
di Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 380-381: HADRIANAE gallinae (AopiavVKCU, nimirum a regione, non ut 
Niphus suspicatur quod forte ab Adriano Imperatore observatae sint, vixit enim Adrianus multo post Aristotelis tempora) parvo 
quidem sunt corpore, sed quotidie pariunt, ferociunt tamen, et pullos saepe interimunt, color his varius, Aristot. Et alibi, Multa 
admodum pariunt. Fit enim propter corporis exiguitatem, ut alimentum ad partionem sumptitetur. Hadrianis laus maxima (circa 
foecunditatem,) Plinius. Adrianas sive Adriaticas gallinas (TOU<5 'A5pl(XTl1COU<5 6pvi9ct<5) Athenienses alere student, quanquam 
nostri inutiliores, utpote multo minores. Adriatici vero contra nostras accersunt, Chrysippus apud Athenaeum lib. 7. Gallinae 
quaedam Adriani regis vocantur, quae apud nos dicuntur gallinae magnae, et sunt magni oblongi corporis, abundant apud Selandos 
et Hollandos, et ubique in Germania inferiore. Pariunt quotidie, minime benignae in pullos suos, quos saepe interficiunt. Colores 
earum sunt diversi, sed apud nos frequentius sunt albae, aliae aliorum colorum. Pulli earum diu iacent sine pennis, Albertus, sed hae 
forsitan Medicae potius vel Patavinae gallinae fuerint. Gallinae Adrianae non magno et oblongo corpore sunt, ut somniavit 
Albertus, sed contra ut Aristoteles et Ephesius tradiderunt, Niphus. Gyb. Longolius Germanice interpretatur Leihennen, Variae 



30 



Aristoteles ASpiaviicai 174 , primo loco occurrunt. 
At quae suit, alios aliter sentire video, et revera 
neminem hactenus videre mihi contigit, qui 
exacte hac in parte doctis mgeniis satisfacere 
potuerit. Albertus magnus Philosophus sui 
temporis celebemmus, dum quasdam Gallmas 
Hadnani Regis vocari dicit, quae suis magnae 
dicantur, aperte Aristoteli refragatur: si modo 
verum est, quod de Hadrianis Aristotelis 
mtelligat, ut Augustinus Niphus affirmat 175 , in 
Albertum mvectus, cum ait: GalRnae Hadrianae 
non sunt magno corpore, et oblongo, ut somniaiit 
Albertus, sed contra ut Aristoteles, et Epheslus 



called them, Adrianikai. But what kind of hens they 
are, I realize that some are thinking in one way, 
somebody else in another way, and really up to now 
didn't happen to me to find anyone able to accurately 
satisfy the skilful people in this matter. Albertus 
Magnus*, a very famous philosopher in his days, 
while stating that certain hens are called of the Hadrian 
Yang, which by his countrymen would be called as 
large sized, clearly is opposing himself with Aristotle: 
on condition that he is referring himself to the 
Hadrianae of Aristotle, as Augustinus Niphus* is 
affirming, when he attacks Albertus in saying: The 
Hadrianae hens are not of large and long body, as Albertus 



sunt (inquit) rostro candidiusculo. Pulli earum columbarum pipiones colore referunt. Ab Adriaticis mercatoribus prirnum in 
Graeciam advectae videntur, et inde nomen tulisse. Quod autem ferocire Aristoteles eas scribit, factum esse puto ob patriae 
mutationem, cum in calidiores regiones devectae et ferventioris ingenii redditae sunt, Haec ille. Varro Africanas, quas non alias esse 
constat quam Hadrianas, varias et grandes facit, Turnerus. Ego Africanas ab Adrianis multum differre puto, cum Numidicis vero 
easdem esse. Hispanus quidam amicus noster gallinam Adrianam, Hispanice gallina enana nominat. nimirum quod corpore nana et 
pumila sit, quale genus in Helvetia apud nos audio nominari Schotthennen, alibi Erdhennle, alibi Dasehiinle. Sed Gyb. Longolius 
gallinas plumilas [pumilas] Germanice vocat kriel. Vulgares sunt (inquit) et passim extant. Per terram reptant claudicando potius 
quam incedendo. Licebit autem gallinaceos huius generis pumiliones, gallinas pumilas cum Columella nominare. Sunt enim in omni 
animantium genere nani, ut dixit Theophrastus. Pumiliones, alias pumilas, aves, nisi quern humilitas earum delectat, nee propter 
foecunditatem, nee propter alium reditum nimium probo, Columella. Est et pumilionum genus non sterile in iis, quod non in alio 
genere alitum, sed quibus {certa} <centra> foecunditas rara et incubatio ovis noxia, Plinius. Apud TANAGRAEOS duo genera 
gallorum sunt, hi machimi, (id est pugnaces, vel praeliares, ut Hermolaus) vocantur, alii cossyphi. Cossyphi magnitudine LYDAS 
gallinas aequant, colore similes corvis (coracino, hinc cossyphi nimirum dicti quod merularum instar atri coloris sint:) barbam et 
cristam habent instar anemones, (calcaria et apex anemonae [anemones] floris macula modo rubent, Hermol.) Candida item signa 
exigua in rostro supremo et caudae extremitate, Pausanias in Boeoticis interprete Loeschero. At pugillatum atque praelia, Graeci e 
Boeotia Tanagricas, item RHODIAS, (ut Athenaeus, Columella, Martialis,) nee minus CHALCIDICAS et MEDICAS probavere. Quidam 
ALEXANDRINAS in Aegypto, Hermolaus. Tanagrici, Medici et Chalcidici, sine dubio sunt pulchri, et ad praeliandum inter se maxime 
idonei, sed ad partus sunt steriliores, Varro. Tanagrici plerunque Rhodiis et Medicis amplitudine pares, non multum moribus a [381] 
vernaculis distant, sicut et Chalcidici, Columella: cum paulo ante dixisset Rhodii generis aut Medici propter gravitatem neque gallos 
nimis salaces, nee foecundas esse gallinas. Et rursus, Deliaci (scriptores) quoniam procera corpora et animos ad praelia pertinaceis 
[pertinaces] requirebant, praecipue Tanagricum genus et Rhodium probabant, nee minus Chalcidicum et Medicum, quod ab 
imperito vulgo litera mutata Melicum appellatur. Ex gallinaceis quidam ad bella tantum et praelia assidua nascuntur, quibus etiam 
patrias nobilitarunt Rhodum ac Tanagram. Secundus est honos habitus Melicis et Chalcidicis, ut plane dignae aliti tantum honoris 
praebeat Romana purpura, Plinius. 

174 De generatione animalium III 749b-750a - Historic! animalium VI 558b. - Filippo Capponi in Ornithologia Eatina (1979), quando tratta 
delle galline di Hadria, cita in greco il brano di Aristotele tratto da Historia animalium VI 558b e riporta l'aggettivo Adrianai a 
proposito di queste galline. L'aggettivo Adrianos e usato, per esempio, da Dionigi d'Alicarnasso (retore e storico greco del I sec. aC) 
per indicare il mare Adriatico (Romanae Antiquitates, II 4), mentre non comparirebbe in Aristotele, il quale avrebbe invece usato due 
diversi aggettivi equivalenti: Adriatikos (Historia animalium, VI etc.) e Adrianikos (in De generatione animalium 749b 29 si legge: ton 
alektoridon ai Adrianikai; in Historia animalium VI,l,558b 16 Ai dAdrianai alektorides (qui Adrianikai e alia lectio dei codici PD 1 )); cfr. 
anche Ateneo VII,23,285d ('AopiCtTl1COt)<5 6pVl9a<5, polli adriatici). § In Giulio Cesare Scaligero {Aristotelis historia de animalibus, 
Tolosa, 1619, pag. 638) troviamo Adrianikai: At 8s 'ASpiCtVllCcd cAsKTopiSsq, £101 psv piKpal TO peyeBoq, TVKTOU0V 8s 
dv'8icdaTr|v rjpepav. Eial 8s ^aAeitav, ical ictsivouai rove, •vsottouc, xoWdxic,. Xpcopata 8s TtavToSaitd s^ouav. 

175 Augustinus Niphus Expositiones in omnes Aristotelis libros (1546) pag. 157: Albertus [...] Etiam id, quod secundo loco asserit, longe 
deterius est, cum dicat gallinas adrianicas esse magno, & oblongo corpore, cuius oppositum Arist. & eius expositor Ephesius in 
scholijs tradiderunt. 

176 Aldrovandi non ha capito una minchia di quanto riferito da Gessner, ne si e preso la briga di dare uno sguardo al commento di 
Agostino Nifo. Infatti molto prima della sua invettiva contro Alberto, sempre a pagina 157 di Expositiones in omnes Aristotelis libros 
(1546) Agostino Nifo esprime il sospetto che le galline Adrianae furono cosi chiamate in quanto viste dall'imperatore Adriano: 
fortassis ab Adriano Imperatore observatae. — Quindi l'illazione Adrianae = fortassis ab Adriano Imperatore observatae non e di 
Alberto, ma di Nifo. Alberto conosceva galline giganti che erano dette del Re Adriano, e di quale re Adriano si tratti nessuno per 
ora lo sa. 

177 Agostino Nifo Expositiones in omnes Aristotelis libros (1546) pagina 157: Adrianae graece d8pi(XVl1CCU, fortasse ab Adriano 
Imperatore observatae:[...]. § Agostino Nifo si e lasciato trarre in inganno da Alberto De animalibus VI,3: Adhuc autem quaedam 
sunt gallinae, quae Adriani regis - 0U 'A8pictviica{ - vocantur, et apud nos dicuntur gallinae magnae, et sunt magni et longi valde 
corporis, et abundant in Selandia et Hollandia et fere ubique in Germania inferiori. (Albertus Magnus De animalibus libri XXVI - 
Hermann Stadler, Miinster, 1916) 



31 



tradiderunt{,} O Haec llle. At quam bene ex 
hoc 176 colligat Hadrianas Gallmas ab Hadnano 
{Imperarore} <Imperatore> nomen invenisse, 
ipse vident 177 . Equidem Anstotelem longe ante 
Hadnanum Imperatorem vixisse historia docet. 
Hadnanas vero a loco nomen accepisse, 
mmirum ab Hadria civitate nihilum dubito. 



Turnerus 178 Africanas ab Hadrianis nihil differre 
existimans eas triplo, et amplius maiores facit, in 
tarn foedum errorem impingens, ut redargutione 
plane non egeat. Nos de Africanis supra 
diximus 179 . Qui vero e contrano id genus 
Gallmarum nanas mterpretantur, sive 
pumiliones, ab eorum opinione recedere minime 
possum, cuius sententiae fuisse Hispanum 
quendam amicum suum Ormthologus 180 tradit, 
ac Hispanice Gallina enana mterpretan asserit, 
mmirum, quod corpore nana, et pumila sit, eo, ut 
videtur, argumento nixus, quoniam Aristoteles 
Hadnanas parvo corpore esse scnbat. 
Veruntamen ego nanas hie minime claudicantes 
illas, ut Longolius vocat, quae panter nanae sunt, 
interpretor, sed genus quoddam caetens minus: 



fancied, but quite otherwise as Aristotle and the Ephesian - 
Michael ofEphesus* - handed down. These are the words 
of the Ornithologist. But he himself — i.e. Niphus - 
would have been aware that according to this 
affirmation he is exactly deducing that Hadrianae hens 
took the name from Hadrian* Emperor. Doubtless 
the history shows that Aristotle lived long before than 
Hadrian Emperor. Really I don't have the slightest 
doubt that Hadrianae took the name from a locality, 
doubtless from the town of Hadria*. 

William Turner*, when thinking that African hens - 
Numida meleagris?* - are nowise different from 
Hadrianae, he makes these hens three times or more 
larger, falling into such a gross mistake that he doesn't 
need confutation at all. I have spoken about Africans 
previously. To tell the truth by no means I cannot to 
diverge from the opinion of those who on the 
contrary judge this sort of hens as dwarf, or small, and 
the Ornithologist records that a certain Spanish friend 
of him held this opinion, and he affirms that in 
Spanish is translated as Gallina enana, of course 
because it is dwarfed and tiny in body, seemingly 
relying on the proof that Aristotle writes that the 
Hadrianae have a small body. But at this point I do 
think that the dwarfs are not at all those limping hens, 
as Gisbert Longolius* calls them, which are likewise 
dwarf, but a certain breed smaller than others: 



Page 192 



[192] claudicantes enim illae licet caetens 
foecundiores sint, in omnibus passim locis 
repenuntur, et genus suum non servant, aut 
propagant, sed ita nanae nescio quo casu 
nascuntur. Praeterea verisimile mihi non videtur, 
quomodo, et cur Aristoteles, qui omnes 
animalium differentias diligentissime observavit, 
literisque mandavit, et hanc non annotaverit. 
Plinius Hadrianas a nanis etiam distinguere non 
videtur, quamvis diversis de his agat capitibus. 
Sed nanas non vocat, verum modo Hadrianas, 
modo pumiliones. Postquam enim Hadnanis 



supposing that such limping hens are more 
productive than others, they are found everywhere in 
any country, and they don't take care of their 
offspnng neither perpetuate them, but I don't know 
for what reason they hatch so dwarf. Further, it does 
not seem likely to me how and why Aristotle*, who 
very carefully observed all the characteristics of the 
animals and wrote them down, did not annotate this 
one too. It seems that also Pliny* is not distinguishing 
between Hadrianae and dwarfs although he deals with 
them in different chapters. But he does not call them 
dwarfs, but now Hadrianae, now small. For after he 



178 L'errore di William Turner proviene da un'errata, frettolosa e fuorviante interpretazione del testo di Varrone relativo alle galline 
Africanae. Lo possiamo dedurre, come ha fatto Aldrovandi, dal testo di Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 380: 
Varro Africanas, quas non alias esse constat quam Hadrianas, varias et grandes facit, Turnerus. Ego [Gessner] Africanas ab Adrianis 
multum differre puto, cum Numidicis vero easdem esse. - Varrone e ben informato: un conto sono le galline da cortile e quelle 
selvatiche, un altro conto sono le faraone. Ecco i frammenti di Varrone in cui parla delle Africanae, tratti da Kerum rusticarum III. 9,1: 
Igitur sunt gallinae quae vocantur generum trium: villaticae et rusticae et Africanae. - 9,16: Gallinae rusticae sunt in urbe rarae nee 
fere nisi mansuetae in cavea videntur Romae, similes facie non his gallinis villaticis nostris, sed Africanis. - 9,18: Gallinae Africanae 
sunt grandes, variae, gibberae, quas mekagridas appellant Graeci. Haec novissimae in triclinium cenantium introierunt e culina 
propter fastidium hominum. 

179 Ulisse Aldrovandi Ornithologial, 595. (Lind, 1963) 

180 Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 380: Ego Africanas ab Adrianis multum differre puto, cum Numidicis vero 
easdem esse. Hispanus quidam amicus noster gallinam Adrianam, Hispanice gallina enana nominat. nimirum quod corpore nana et 
pumila sit, quale genus in Helvetia apud nos audio nominari Schotthennen, alibi Erdhennle, alibi Dasehiinle. 



32 



maximam laudem circa foecunditatem 
attnbuisset 181 , mox sententiam fusius explicans, 
de eisdem ita mfit 182 : Est et pumilionum genus non 
sterile in {us} <his> (nimirum optimis) quod non 
aRo in genere alitum, sed quibus {certa} 1Bi <centra> 
foecunditas rara, et incubatio oiis noxia: quasi dicat: 
ova illis non supponenda esse, quoniam pullos 
suos smt interempturae, ut dixit Aristoteles, qui 
colorem quoque addidit, varium 184 nempe, quern 
omisit Plmius, forte quasi superfluum fuerit eum 
addere: quod vix crediderim. Philosophus enim 
nihil frustra dicere solet. Gylbertus Longolius 
quasdam Gallinas Germanice Leihennen, quasi 
Gallmas parturientes dicas, appellari ait, et 
Hadnanas esse conijcit, colore vero vanas esse, 
et rostro {longiusculo} <candidiusculo 185 >, 
pullos vero columbarum pipiones <colore> 
referre. 



Quod vero Aristo teles 186 Hadrianas ferocire 
dicat, factum esse putat ob patriae mutationem, 
cum in calidiores regiones devectae, et ferocioris 
ingenii redditae sunt. Has ego (si modo tales lbi 
dentur) Hadrianas esse prius plane credebam. At 
cum ferocire eas neget, id vero Aristoteles 187 
aperte tradat, nimirum in propnos pullos, quos, 
ut inquit, saepe intenmunt: et Plinius, ut ostendi, 
eandem ob causam tanquam incubationi meptas, 
reijciat: immutata opinione omnino censeo, nee 
tales Hadrianas esse. Verum cum et ipse interim, 
quae certo Hadnanae dici possmt nunquam 
videnm, itaque suum cuique liberum mdicium 
relinquo, aliorum opinionem tantum examinasse 
contentus. Video tamen plerosque viros doctos, 
forte quia et ipsi alias non haberent, quas 
Hadnanas dicere possent, Gyberti Longoln 
sententiam amplecti. 



gave the Hadnanae the greatest praise for their 
fecundity, afterwards, when explaining at greater 
length his statement, he says in this manner about 
them: There is also a non-sterile breed of dwarfs among those 
(without doubt very good) which does not occur in other 
genus of birds, but those with spurs are seldom prolific and their 
incubation is harmful to eggs: as if he would say: eggs 
should not be set under them since they will kill their 
chicks, as Aristotle said, who added also their color, 
that is variegated, which Pliny omitted, as perhaps it 
should been nearly superfluous to add it: what I can 
barely believe. For the Philosopher is accustomed to 
say nothing in vain. Gisbert Longolius* says that 
some hens are called Leihennen in German, as though 
you might say hens that lay eggs, and he concludes 
that they are Hadtianae, that truly they are of various 
colors and with a rather whiter beak, while their 
chicks regarding their color bear a resemblance to 
squabs. 

But being that Aristotle says that Hadtianae are 
aggressive, he — Longolius - thinks that this happened 
because they changed their origin place, and when 
transferred to warmer regions they also turned into a 
more aggressive temperament. Previously it had been 
my absolute belief that these hens (on condition that 
such hens are there existing) were Hadtianae. But 
being that he — Longolius - states that they are not 
aggressive, while Aristotle is unequivocally referring 
this, just toward their chicks which, as he says, often 
they kill, and also Pliny, as I pointed out, despises 
them on account of the same reason as unsuited for 
incubation, without any doubt I think with unchanged 
opinion that neither aforesaid hens are Hadtianae. 
However, since for the present I also never have seen 
hens which can surely be called Hadtianae, I leave 
therefore everyone his own freedom of thought, 
having confined myself to only look into the opinions 
of others. Nevertheless, I notice that most of learned 



181 Naturalis historia X,146: Quaedam omni tempore coeunt, ut gallinae, et pariunt, praeterquam duobus mensibus hiemis 
brumalibus. Ex iis iuvencae plura quam veteres, sed minora, et in eodem fetu prima ac novissima. Est autem tanta fecunditas ut 
aliquae et sexagena pariant, aliquae cotidie, aliquae bis die, aliquae in tantum ut effetae moriantur. Hadrianis laus maxima. 

182 Naturalis historia X,156: Gallinarum generositas spectatur crista erecta, interim et gemina, pinnis nigris, ore rubicundo, digitis 
imparibus, aliquando et super IIII digitos traverso uno. Ad rem divinam luteo rostro pedibusque purae non videntur, ad opertanea 
sacra nigrae. Est et pumilionum genus non sterile in his, quod non in alio genere alitum, sed quibus centra, fecunditas rara et 
incubatio ovis noxia. 

183 L'erroneo scambio di certaper centra— e a pagina 197 Aldrovandi cita correttamente il greco kentra - puo risalire a qualche antica 
versione del testo pliniano, ma e assai piu verosimile che esso provenga da Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 380: 
Est et pumilionum genus non sterile in iis, quod non in alio genere alitum, sed quibus {certa} <centra> foecunditas rara et 
incubatio ovis noxia, Plinius. - II sospetto e accresciuto dal fatto che Aldrovandi, come Gessner, usa in iis anziche in his. 

184 Historia animalium VI 558b 19: chromata de pantodapa echousin. 

185 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 380: Gyb. Longolius Germanice interpretatur Leihennen, Variae sunt 
(inquit) rostro candidiusculo. 

186 Historia animalium VI 558b 18: chalepai. 

187 Historia animalium VI 558b 18: kteinousi tous neottous polldkis. 



33 



Columella etiam quasdam Gallmas pumiliones 
vocat, quae nunquid eaedem sint cum 
pumilionibus Plmii, rursus subdubito. Etenim 
Columella 188 nee propter foecunditatem, nee 
propter aliud emolumentum eas nimium probat: 
hie, uti diximus pro foecundissimis habet: et 
inter nostri saeculi senptores Conradus 
Heresbachius pumiliones, etsi vetustas cum ob 
infoecunditatem, turn ob alias causas improbat: 
tamen plunbus locis foecundas repenn, ovaque 
plunma edere asserens, et in Britannia hoc 
tempore ad cibos delicatos expeti. Quas vero 
Longolius pumilas vocat, et Germanice Kriel 189 
mterpretatur, eae, ut paulo ante dixi, passim 
extant, per terram reptant, claudicando potius, 
quam incedendo, nos etiam na{i}nas 
appellamus. Flandri, ut audio geknelde hennens. 
Aristoteles 190 de suis Hadnanis loquens, cur 
multa admodum panant, hanc rationem reddit, 
quod propter corporis exiguitatem, aRmentum ad 
{partitionem sumptitemr] <partionem sumptitetur> . 
Has, ut inquit, Chrysippus apud Athenaeum 191 , 
Athenienses alere studebant, quanquam nostris 
inutiliores: Adriatici vero contra nostras accersire 
solebant. 



men embrace Gisbert Longolius' view, perhaps 
because they also didn't have available any other hens 
which they could call Hadrianae. 

Columella* also calls certain hens dwarfs, but once 
more I doubt that they are the same dwarf hens of 
Pliny. For Columella does not appreciate them too 
much either for their fecundity or any other 
advantage. He - Pliny, as I said, does consider them 
very prolific: and, among writers of our century, 
Conrad Heresbach* disapproves the dwarfs even if 
aged, both because of their lack of fecundity as well as 
for other reasons: also claiming that we can found 
fecund hens in many places and that they lay very 
many eggs, and that at the present time in Britain they 
are sought to make delicacies. Those which Longolius 
calls dwarfs, and translated into Dutch as kriel, as I 
just said are found everywhere, they creep over the 
earth limping rather than walking, we also call them 
dwarfs. The Flemish*, as I hear, call them gekrielde 
hennens. Aristotle, speaking of his Hadrianae* gives this 
reason why they lay very many eggs: because on account 
of their thinness of body the food is employed for procreation. As 
Chrysippus* says in Athenaeus*: The Athenians did their 
best in breeding these hens, although they were more useless than 
ours: whereas, on the contrary, the peoples of the Adriatic sea 
were accustomed to get ours. 



Sunt et praeterea alia Gallinarum genera ab Furthermore there are also other breeds of hens 



188 £) e re rus fi t - a _ VIII,2,14: Pumileas aves, nisi quern humilitas earum delectat, nee propter fecunditatem nee propter alium reditum 
nimium probo, tarn hercule quam nee pugnacem nee rixosae libidinis marem. Nam plerumque ceteros infestat, et non patitur inire 
feminas, cum ipse pluribus sufficere non queat. - Le galline nane, salvo che a qualcuno piacciano le loro piccole dimensioni, non le 
apprezzo eccessivamente ne per la loro fecondita ne per un qualsivoglia altro tornaconto, cosi come certamente non apprezzo un 
maschio sia esso bellicoso che di libidine litigiosa. Infatti per lo piu molesta gli altri maschi e non permette loro di accoppiarsi con le 
femmine, quantunque non sia in grado di bastare a molte di loro. 

189 L'olandese e una lingua germanica occidentale parlata in Olanda e derivata dai dialetti del basso germanico dei Franchi e dei 
Sassoni. Fino al 1600 anche le parole in olandese erano dette germaniche, in quanto con germanico — o tedesco* - si indicava tutto 
cio che non era latino. Per cui in questo caso e corretto tradurre Germanice con "in olandese" anziche con "in tedesco", in quanto 
kriel h un vocabolo prettamente olandese mentre il suo equivalente tedesco e %werg. — L'input per questa precisazione mi e giunto 
grazie all'acume del Dr Stefano Bergamo che da alcuni lustri respira aria olandese e magari ogni tanto si abbuffa di patatine kriel. 
Infatti cosi mi ha precisato in una e-mail del 2 maggio 2006: "Kriel indica la nanezza in genere, si usa anche per le patatine rotonde 
che si consumano piccolissime (dimensioni max come una ciliegia)." 

190 De generatione animalium III 749b 28: dia mikroteta tou somatos eis ten teknosin katanalisketai e trophe. 

191 VII 285d. § Conrad Gessner in Historia animalium (1555) a pagina 380 incorpora nella citazione la motivazione 'utpote multo 
minores': Adrianas sive Adriaticas gallinas (TOt)<5 'AopiCtTllCOtxj 6pvi9ct<5) Athenienses alere student, quanquam nostris inutiliores, 
utpote multo minores. Adriatici vero contra nostras accersunt, Chrysippus apud Athenaeum lib. 7. § D ' eipnosophistat VII,23: 
Xpuanntoq 8' 6 cpiAoaocpoc, ev tcp Ttepl tcbv 8i' aura cupetcbv 'tfjv dcpur|v, cprjal, [tf|v] ev 'ABfyvouc, pev 8id tfjv 
8at];iAeiav uitepopcoai Kal tttco^vicov elvcu cpaavv cn];ov, sv etepcuc, 8s itoAsavv uitepBaupd^ouav %o\b ^evpco 
yvvopevrjv. sl8' oi |isv, cpqaiv, evtauBa xobc, 'A8piaTiicouc, opviBac, Tpscpsvv OTteuSouaiv d^psvoTepouq ovxac,, otv x&>v 
Ttap' rjpiv %o\b kXaxxovc, siavv sksivov 8s tdvavTva psTaTtspTtovTav xobc, sv8d8s.' - II filosofo Crisippo, nel trattato 
relativo alle cose che si debbono preferire di per se, dice: "L'acciuga ad Atene la disprezzano a causa dell'abbondanza e dicono 
essere un cibo destinato ai poveri, mentre in altre citta l'apprezzano molto, pur essendo di qualita molto scadente. Del resto, dice, 
qui ci sono coloro che bramano allevare i polli del mare Adriatico che sono alquanto inutili, dal momento che sono molto piu 
piccoli di quelli che abbiamo noi; al contrario, quelli — che abitano lungo l'Adriatico - importano quelli che abbiamo qui. 
(frammento 2, svF III pag. 195, presso Ateneo VII,23,285d — traduzione di Elio Corti con la collaborazione di Roberto Ricciardi*) 



34 



antiquis magno honore habita: quae ltidem fere 
nobis incognitae sunt. Tales sunt Tanagraeae, 
Lydae, Rhodiae, Chalcidicae, Medicae, et 
Alexandnnae. Ex Tanagraeis Gallos potius, 
quam Gallmas probabant, eorumque bma erant 
genera. Alii enim p.d)(iji.oi, id est, pugnaces vel 
proeliares erant, ut Hermolaus vertit: alii 
Cos sip hi, qui Lydas magnitudme aequabant, 
quorum Pausanias 192 meminit, et Corvis colore 
similes esse tradit (hinc nimirum Cossiphi dicti, 
quod Merularum instar atn colons sint) et 
barbam, et cristam habuisse instar anemones 
(quo loco Hermolaus habet calcana, et apex 
anemone<s> 193 floris macula<e> 194 modo 
rubent, quod non placet: siquidem in nulla 
Gallma calcar unquam rubere visum est). 
Candida item signa exigua in rostro supremo, et 
caudae extremitate. Mihi eiusmodi Gallorum 
genus prorsus ignotum est. Veruntamen cum 
Graeci Tanagricas e Boeotia, item Athenaeus, 
Rhodias, Columella, et Martialis, nee minus 
Chalcidicas, et Medicas, et nonnulli Alexandnnas 
Aegyptias ad pugillatum, et praelia commendant: 
itaque quispiam easdem esse suspican possit, etsi 
a doctissimo M. Varrone, et Columella, necnon a 
Plinio apertissime distingui videantur. Nam si 
diligenter, et ad trutinam, quod aiunt, 
gravis simorum horum authorum verba 
examines, nullam ferme inter omnes notabilem 
differentiam reperies, et alios aliis pugnaciores 
tantum dicere videbis. Ita eodem prorsus modo 
in Europa nostra cermmus aliam gentem alia 
pugnaciorem esse, cum tamen interim nulla alia 
corporis nota discrepent. 



which were held in high esteem by ancients: which 
likewise are almost unknown to us. Such are the hens 
of Tanagra*, Lydia*, Rhodes*, Chalcis*, Media*, and 
Alexandria*. Of Tanagran chickens they appreciated 
the roosters rather than hens, and of them there were 
two breeds. Some were the mdchimoi, i.e. they were 
pugnacious or fighters, as Hermolaus Barbarus* 
translated: others were the cossyphi* mentioned by 
Pausanias*, which equaled in size the Lydian hens, 
and he says their color to be similar to that of crows 
(hence precisely called cossyphi — blackbirds - because 
they have a dark color as that of blackbirds) and that 
they had both the beard — wattles* - and the comb 
like an anemone* (in this passage Hermolaus has the 
spurs and the comb are reddish like a patch of an anemone's 
flower, what I do not think right: since in any hen no 
spur ever has been seen to be reddish). At the same 
time there are small white marks on the tip of the 
beak and on the extremity of the tail. Such a breed of 
roosters is quite unknown to me. However, since the 
Greeks, for wrestling and fighting, commend the hens 
of Tanagra in Boeotia, alike Athenaeus is doing, 
Columella and Martial* those of Rhodes and alike 
those of Chalcis and Media, and some people those of 
Egyptian Alexandria: therefore someone could 
assume that they are the same hens, even though it is 
clear that by the very learned Marcus Varro* and by 
Columella, as well as by Pliny, they are very clearly 
distinguished - apart. But, as they say, if you would 
carefully weigh up and with a balance the words of 
these highly reliable writers, you would find almost no 
outstanding difference among all - these chickens, and 
you would see that they merely say that some are 
more pugnacious than others. Thus just in the same 
way we clearly see that in our Europe a people is 
more aggressive than another one, while on the 



192 p er i e g e si delta Grecia IX, BEOZIA, 22. 4. "Here [in Tanagra] there are two breeds of cocks, the fighters and the blackbirds, as they 
are called. The size of these blackbirds is the same as that of the Lydian birds, but in colour they are like crows [like a crow - koraki 
= to a crow], while "wattles and comb are very like the anemone. They have small, "white markings on the end of the beak and at the 
end of the tail." (translation by W.H.S. Jones) - "Qui [a Tanagra] ci sono due razze di galli, i combattenti e i merli, come sono 
chiamati. Le dimensioni di questi merli sono le stesse di quelle degli uccelli [dei polli, delle galline] della Lidia, ma nel colore essi 
sono simili a un corvo[kdraki\, mentre i bargigli e la cresta sono molto simili all' anemone; essi posseggono dei piccoli segni bianchi 
sulla punta del becco e all'estremita della coda." (traduzione di Elio Corti) - "Ecm 8s KCU ^EVrj 8uo evTCtuBa aAEKTpUOVCQV, Ol 
re p&xipoi ical ov icoaaucpoi xaAoupevoi. Toutcov tcov icoaauepcov peyeBoc, pev Kara rove, AuSouc, semv opviBaq, \poa 
8e epcpepfjc, icopaia, icdAAcua 8e ical 6 Aocpoc, icatd dvepcovrjv pdAiOTa- Aeuicd 8s arjpeia ov peydAa eitl re aicpco x&> 
pdpcpsv ical sitl aicpac, SLOUCH tf|c, oupaq. 

193 Conrad Gessner, Historic! Animalium III (1555), pag. 380: Apud TANAGRAEOS duo genera gallorum sunt, hi machimi, (id est 
pugnaces, vel praeliares, ut Hermolaus) vocantur, alii cossyphi. Cossyphi magnitudine LYDAS gallinas aequant, colore similes corvis 
(coracino, hinc cossyphi nimirum dicti quod merularum instar atri coloris sint:) barbam et cristam habent instar anemones, (calcaria 
et apex anemonae [anemones] floris macula modo rubent, Hermol.) Candida item signa exigua in rostro supremo et caudae 
extremitate, Pausanias in Boeoticis interprete Loeschero. 

194 Se vogliamo attribuire a modo il significato di "come" - essendo ablativo di modus - allora modo regge il genitivo. Se accettiamo 
macula invece di un genitivo maculae, allora modo va tradotto con "appena" essendo un awerbio. Si opta per la prima soluzione per 
owl motivi cromatici e sintattici, anche se il testo originale di Ermolao Barbaro riporta sia anemonae che macula. — Corollarium in 
Dioscoridem (1516): CCLIII GALLINACEUS - [...] calcaria & apex anemonae floris macula modo rubent. [...] 



35 



Tanagriri, Medici, et Chalddid, inquit Varro 195 , sine 
dubio sunt pulchri, et ad proeliandum inter se maxime 
idonei, sed ad partus sunt steriRores. Columella vero 
nulla pugnacitatis facta mentione 196 , Tanagriri, 
inquit, plerunque Rhodiis, etMediris amplitudine pares, 
non multum moribus a vemaculis distant, sicut et 
Chalddid: cum paulo ante dixisset: Rhodii generis, 
aut Media propter graiitatem, neque Gallos nimis [193] 
salaces, neque foecundas esse Gallinas. 



contrary they no differ in any other somatic trait. 

Varro says: Tanagran, Median and Chalddian roosters are 
without doubt handsome and veiy skilful in fighting against 
themselves, but rather unfruitful as far as offspring is concerned. 
Columella, without any mention of pugnacity, says: 
Tanagran chickens, which mostly are equal to the Rhodian and 
Median in si^e, they do not differ much in their behaiiour from 
our chickens, as well as the Chalddian do: having said a 
little before: Of the Rhodian or Median breed because of the 
weight neither roosters are too much lustful nor hens prolific. 



Page 193 



Quibus verbis dum non multum moribus a 
vernaculis differre tradit, a Varrone, et Plinio 
dissentire videri possit, nisi alias ita scnberet 197 : 
Deliad, nempe scrip tores 198 , quia procera corpora, et 
animos ad praelia pertinaces requirebant, praecipue 
Tanagricum genus, et Rhodium probabant, nee minus 
Chalddicum, et Medicum, quod ab imperito vulgo litem 
mutata Melicum appellatur. Et alibi etiam Rhodias 
aves (mtelligit autem Gallinas) foetus suos non 
commode nutnre scripsit. Ita et Plinius 199 , Ex 
Gallinaceis, inquit, quidam ad bella tantum, et praelia 
assidua nascuntur, quibus etiam patrias nobilitarunt 
Rhodum, {et} <aut> T anagram. Quos itaque 
sagacissima parens rerum natura, maiores ac 
pugnaciores aliis fecit, eosdem contra steriliores 
caeteris esse voluit. 



While by these words he is telling that regarding their 
behaviour they do not differ too much from our 
chickens, it might appear that he is dissenting from 
Varro* and Pliny* unless elsewhere he writes as 
follows: Those of Debs' 1 , the writers breeders of course, 
being that they looked for tall bodies and stubborn spirits in 
fighting, overall appredated Tanagran** and Rhodian* breeds, 
as well as Chalddian* and Median*, which with one changed 
letter is called Melian by incompetent folk. Elsewhere he 
wrote too that Rhodian birds (but he means hens) do 
not properly take care of their chicks. Also Pliny 
similarly says: Among chickens some are bom only for 
continuous wrestling and fighting, thanks to which they also 
made renowned their native lands, Rhodes or Tanagra. And 
therefore those whom the very shrewd Mother 
Nature created larger and more pugnacious than 



195 Rerum rusticarum, 111,9,6 Nee tamen sequendum in seminio legendo Tanagricos et Melicos et Chalcidicos, qui sine dubio sunt 
pulchri et ad proeliandum inter se maxime idonei, sed ad partus sunt steriliores. 

196 De Re Rjustica, VIII: (2,12) Talibus autem maribus quinae singulis feminae comparantur. Nam Rhodii generis aut Medici propter 
gravitatem neque patres nimis salaces nee fecundae matres, quae tamen ternae singulis maritantur. Et cum pauca ova posuerunt, 
inertes ad incubandum multoque magis ad excludendum, raro fetus suos educant. Itaque quibus cordi est ea genera propter 
corporum speciem possidere, cum exceperunt ova generosarum, vulgaribus gallinis subiciunt, ut ab his excusi pulli nutriantur. (2,13) 
Tanagrici plerumque Rhodiis et Medicis amplitudine pares non multum moribus a vernaculis distant, sicut et Chalcidici. Omnium 
tamen horum generum nothi sunt optimi pulli, quos conceptos ex peregrinis maribus nostrates ediderunt, et salacitatem 
fecunditatemque vernaculam retinent. 

197 De Re Rustica, VIII,2,4: Huius igitur villatici generis non spernendus est reditus, si adhibeatur educandi scientia, quam plerique 
Graecorum et praecipue celebravere Deliaci. Sed et hi, quoniam procera corpora et animos ad proelia pertinacis requirebant, 
praecipue Tanagricum genus et Rhodium probabant, nee minus Chalcidicum et Medicum, quod ab imperito vulgo littera mutata 
Melicum appellatur. 

198 Aldrovandi cade in un banale e scontato errore del quale fara pero ammenda a pagina 197, nonche a pagina 232 parlando dei 
polli che vengono ingrassati. L'errore e dovuto al vizio di fare man bassa sconsiderata del testo di Gessner, che erroneamente a 
pagina 381 della sua Historia animalium III (1555) suona cosi: Et rursus, Deliaci (scriptores) quoniam procera corpora et animos ad 
praelia pertinace {i} s requirebant, [...] - Infatti quelli di Delo non erano scrittori, bensi allevatori. La fortuna e la fama degli abitanti di 
Delo come allevatori di polli ci e confermata da Varrone, Plinio e Columella, nonche da Cicerone. Varrone Rerum rusticarum, 111,9,2: 
Gallinae villaticae sunt, quas deinceps rure habent in villis. De his qui ornithoboscion instituere vult, id est adhibita scientia ac cura 
ut capiant magnos fructus, ut factitaverunt Deliaci, haec quinque maxime animadvertant oportet;[...] - Plinio Naturalis historia ~K,139: 
Gallinas saginare Deliaci coepere, unde pestis exorta opimas aves et suopte corpore unctas devorandi. - Columella De Re Rustica, 
VIII,2,4: Huius igitur villatici generis non spernendus est reditus, si adhibeatur educandi scientia, quam plerique Graecorum et 
praecipue celebravere Deliaci. - Cicerone Academica 11,57: Videsne ut in proverbio sit ovorum inter se similitudo? Tamen hoc 
accepimus, Deli fuisse complures salvis rebus illis, qui gallinas alere permultas quaestus causa solerent: ei cum ovum inspexerant, 
quae id gallina peperisset dicere solebant. 

199 Naturalis historia X,48: lam ex his quidam ad bella tantum et proelia adsidua nascuntur - quibus etiam patrias nobilitarunt, 
Rhodum aut Tanagram; secundus est honos habitus Melicis et Chalcidicis -, ut plane dignae aliti tantum honoris perhibeat Romans 
purpura. 



36 



Albertus quasdam Gallmas Hadnani Regis 
appellat, et apud suos magnas vocari ait, magm 
scilicet, et oblongi corporis. Abundant, inquit, 
apud Hollandos, et Zelandos, et ubique in Germania 
{superiore} <inferiore> 200 . Harum Galli forte cum 
lam dictis similes fuerint. Etsi vero Varro 201 
Tanagricos Gallos, Medicos, et Chalcidicos ad 
partus stenliores, Albertus contra eas Gallmas 
quotidie parere dicat, non tamen ideo omnino 
diversum genus esse crediderim. Fieri enim 
potest, ut apud Hollandos, et Zelandos, quorum 
regio fere in {extrema} <extremo> septentrione 
sita est, foecundi sint, et apud Graecos steriles in 
regionibus videlicet calidissimis: vel potius Varro 
ad partus steriles dixit, quoniam in pullos 
saeviant 202 , nam Albertus de Hollandicis Gallims 
prodidit, minime in {suas} 203 <suos> benignas 
esse, eosque saepe intenmere; et Columella 204 
Rhodias aves foetus suos non commode nutnre 
tradit. 

Hermolaus Barbarus et Longolius 205 , vin alioqui 
doctissimi, Medicas eas Gallmas esse credunt, 
quae vulgo Patavinae, et Longobardicae 
vocantur. Quorum ego opmioni neutiquam 
subscrivere nee possum, nee volo. Siquidem tarn 



others, on the other hand she want that they 
themselves were more unfruitful than all the others. 

Albertus* calls certain hens of the Hadrian King* and 
says that by his own people they are called great, that 
is, of large and long body. He says: They abound among 
the Hollanders* and Zeelanders* and everywhere in southern 
Germany. Perhaps the cocks of these hens could be 
similar to those just mentioned. But although Varro is 
saying that Tanagran, Median, and Chalcidian roosters 
are rather unfruitful with regard to offspring, and on 
the contrary Albertus claims that these hens lay daily, 
nevertheless I should not be inclined to believe that 
because of this they are a quite different breed. For it 
may be that among Hollanders and Zeelanders, whose 
territory is nearly located in the extreme north, they 
are fertile, and sterile among Greeks in undoubtedly 
very warm regions: or rather, Varro said that they are 
unfruitful with regard to offspring because they are 
pitiless with chicks, and in fact Albertus with regard 
to Dutch hens reported that they are nowise kind to 
their chicks, and that often they kill them; and 
Columella* records that Rhodian hens do not 
properly take care of their chicks. 

Hermolaus Barbarus* and Longolius*, in other 
respects very learned men, believe that those hens 
commonly called Paduan and Lombard* are Median. 
By no manner of means neither I will nor I can share 
their opinion. Being that a such evident difference by 



200 Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 380: Gallinae quaedam Adriani regis vocantur, quae apud nos dicuntur 
gallinae magnae, et sunt magni oblongi corporis, abundant apud Selandos et Hollandos, et ubique in Germania inferiore. 

201 Rerum rusticarum, 111,9,6 Nee tamen sequendum in seminio legendo Tanagricos et Melicos et Chalcidicos, qui sine dubio sunt 
pulchri et ad proeliandum inter se maxime idonei, sed ad partus sunt steriliores. 

202 Non e stato Varrone a citare l'aggressivita delle galline nei confronti dei pulcini. Lo ha fatto Aristotele nella sua Historia animalium 
VI 558b quando parla delle Hadrianae* : , notoriamente di piccola taglia. 

203 J7 rrore tipografico? Crediamo di si, in quanto sarebbe piu corretto il maschile plurale suos riferito ai pullos, i quali vengono subito 
ripresi dal successivo eosque. Ammettendo invece che il femminile plurale suas non sia un errore tipografico, allora suas deve essere 
tradotto con comari, colleghe, owiamente colleghe di recinto. Spesso le galline mostrano fra loro un'aggressivita che puo superare quella 
che intercorre fra galli. Tuttavia, un'aggressivita fra galline non implica assolutamente un'aggressivita nei confronti della prole. Anzi, 
forse la prole viene meglio custodita da una madre che si mostra aggressiva nei confronti di altre galline. 

204 De Re Rustica, VIII,2,12: Talibus autem maribus quinae singulis feminae comparantur. Nam Rhodii generis aut Medici propter 
gravitatem neque patres nimis salaces nee fecundae matres, quae tamen ternae singulis maritantur. Et cum pauca ova posuerunt, 
inertes ad incubandum multoque magis ad excludendum, raro fetus suos educant. Itaque quibus cordi est ea genera propter 
corporum speciem possidere, cum exceperunt ova generosarum, vulgaribus gallinis subiciunt, ut ab his excusi pulli nutriantur. - 
11,11: Neque est quod committatur ut Rhodiacae aves pavoninis incubent, quae ne suos quidem fetus commode nutriunt. Sed 
veteres maximae quaeque gallinae vernaculi generis eligantur, [...] 

205 Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 381: Antiqui ut Thetin Thelin dicebant, sic Medicam Melicam vocabant. Hae 
primo dicebantur, quia ex Media propter magnitudinem erant allatae, quaeque ex his generatae postea propter similitudinem, Varro 
et Festus. Turnerus Galium Medicum interpretatur Anglice a bauncok, vel a cok of kynde. Medicae, generi villatico adscribuntur, 
propter magnitudinem in Italiam translatae. Cuiusmodi Patavinae modo sunt, Pulverariae cognominatae a vico, ubi grandissimae ac 
spectabiles maxime nascuntur: quas Turcarum rex, is qui Constantinopolim aetate nostra coepit vi, muneris magni loco a senatu 
missas habuit, Hermolaus. Patavinae saginatae libras sedecim pondere exuperant, Grapaldus. Quidam Germanice circumscribentes 
interpretantur, groC Welsch hennen, id est grandes Italicas gallinas. Nos tales habemus gallinaceos, altis cruribus, absque cauda. 
Grande genus gallinaceorum, quod pedibus ad pectus usque sublatis incedit, plumis ex auro fulvis, patrum memoria in Germaniam 
ex proximis provinciis advectum est. Videntur autem Medici, quanquam non Media modo, verum Boeotiae civitas Tanagra et 
Rhodus Chalcisque insulae insignes corpore suffecerunt. unde istos vel Medicos vel Tanagricos vel Rhodios vel Chalcidicos 
appellare licebit. Vulgus Longobardicos nuncupat. pauci a villicis educantur quod parum foecundi sint, Gyb. Longolius. 



37 



mamfestam differentiam, qua a caetens omnibus 
distinguuntur, nempe quod cauda destitutae smt, 
profecto veteres nequaquam erant praeterituri. 
Fuerint itaque genus diversum, neque etiam 
credibile est veteres eas, vel Medicas, vel 
Tanagncas, vel alio quovis peregrmo nomine 
compellaturos fuisse, si Patavii in medio 
fe<r>me Italiae sinu eas habebant. Caeterum 
Patavinas pulverarias a vico cognominari 
Hermolaus 206 testis est, grandissimas et 
spectabiles maxime: Pulverarias autem dici 
mtellexi ab Excellentissimo M. Antonio Ulmo 
Patavino a vico quodam, ubi abundant, et cuius 
Caelo miro modo gaudent, adeo ut ibi fertilitatis 
miraculum adaequent, et cum ad alia loca etiam 
vicina importantur, nisi sterilescant, saltern 
maximopere degenerent. Has quidam Germanice 
circumscribentes interpretantur gross welsch 
hennen, id est grandes Italicas Gallmas. Nos, 
inquit Longolius tales habemus Gallmaceos, altis 
crunbus, absque cauda. Grande Genus 
Gallmaceorum, quod pedibus usque sublatis 
incedit, plumis ex auro fulvis, patrum memoria 
in Germaniam ex proximis provinciis advectum 
est. Videntur autem Medici, quanquam non 
Media modo, verum Boeotiae civitas Tanagra, et 
Rhodus, Chalcisque msulae msignes corpore 
suffecerunt. Unde istos vel Medicos, vel 
Tanagricos, vel Rhodios, vel Chalcidicos 
appellare licebit. Vulgus Longobardicos 
nuncupat. Pauci a villaticis educantur, quod 
parum foecundi sint. Haec ille. 

Navigationum in Indiam authores in regno 
Senegae Gallmas esse referunt, quae Gallinae 
Pharaonis dicantur; defern autem ex Onente: 
item apud Tarnasaros 207 Indiae populos alios 
Gallos et Gallmas repenn nostratibus tnplo 
maiores. Postremo Petrus Martyr 208 in Imaica 
insula Gallmas repenn, author est, quae 
Pavonibus nee magnitudme, nee sapore cedant. 



which they differ from all other hens, that is, because 
they are lacking tail, without doubt by no means 
would escaped the ancients. Therefore they could be a 
different breed, and not even is trustworthy that 
ancients would have called them Median or Tanagran 
hens, or by any other foreign name, being that they 
had them at Padua*, almost in the center of the Italy 
heart. Besides Hermolaus is witness to the fact that 
Paduan Polverara* hens take the name from a village, 
and that they are very large sized and very handsome: 
for I learned that by the very excellent Marco Antonio 
Olmo* from Padua the Polverara hens are so called 
from a certain village, where they abound, and whose 
climate they marvelously enjoy, so that here they 
reach the miracle of fertility, and when they are 
moved in other localities even though neighbouring, if 
they do not become sterile, at least they change quite 
a lot. Some, terming them in German, call these hens 
gross welsch hennen, that is, large Italian hens. Longolius 
says: We have such chickens, with long legs and 
without tail. A large breed of chickens, which walks 
with ever up legs, with golden buff feathers, through 
memory of our fathers was brought into Germany 
from nearby provinces. They look like Median 
chickens indeed, although not only the Media, but 
truly the Boeotian city of Tanagra and the islands of 
Rhodes and Chalcis supplied subjects of outstanding 
body. Then it will be right to call those subjects as 
Median, or Tanagran, or Rhodian, or Chalcidian. 
Common people call them Lombard. Few of them are 
raised by peasants, as they are not very prolific. These 
are his own words. 

Those who make journeys to India by sea tell that in 
the kingdom of Senegal* there are hens which would 
be called Pharaoh's hens - Numida meleagris}* ; on the 
other hand they are brought here from East: likewise, 
among the Tarnasan* people of India other roosters 
and hens are found three times larger than our own. 
Finally Peter Martyr* says that on Jamaica island hens 
are found which do not fall short of peacocks in 
neither size nor flavour. 



206 Corollarium in Dioscoridem (1516) GALLINACEUS CCLIII - Nam medicae a media quasi medicae generi villatico ascriptae sunt: 
propter magnitudinem in Italiam translatae: cuiusmodi Patavinae modo sunt: Pulverariae cognominatae a vico ubi grandissimae, ac 
spectabiles maxime nascuntur: quas Turcarum rex is: qui Constantinopolim aetate nostra coepit: vi muneris magni loco a senatu 
missas habuit. 

207 Conrad Gessner Historic! Animalium III (1555), pag. 381: Circa Tarnasari urbem Indiae gallos gallinasque proceriores vidisse 
memini quam usquam alibi, Ludovicus Patritius. — Per Ludovicus Patritius vedi Lodovico de Vathema*. — Aldrovandi si permette di 
triplicare la mole di questi polli, mentre la fonte — e conviene credere a Gessner — si limita a dire clie si tratta di galli e galline piu 
grandi di quelli visti in qualsiasi altra localita. A mio awiso Aldrovandi - come e suo solito - ha ciurlato nel manico. Non fornisce la 
fonte di questi polli giganti del Tarnasari, cosi nessuno puo contestarlo circa la triplicazione della loro mole. 

208 p e t er Martyr is Pietro Martire d'Anghiera (1457-1526). He wrote one of the earliest books of travel in the New World: De orbe 
novo Petri Martyris Anglerii Mediolanensis... Decades Octo, diligenti temporum observcttione et utilissimis annotationibus illustratae, suoque nitori 
restitutae, labore et industria Rjchardi Haklvytt (Parisiis, Apud Guillelmum Awray, 1587). This and the edition of 1530 are the only 
complete editions of the Latin text. There is an English translation by Francis Augustus MacNutt (New York, Putnam, 1912). 
Aldrovandi refers to the book as De Rebus Oceani. (Lind, 1963) 



38 



Atque hactenus magnitudine discrepantur. lam 
reliquas, si quae sint, differentias prosequamur. 
Aelianus 209 mutos Gallos dari astruere videtur, 
cum ait. Nibas locus est Thessalonicae ciiitati 
Macedoniae licinus, in quo Gallinaceorum genus 
peipetuo mutum sikntio nunquam familiari his alitibus 
cantu vocale auditur. inde adeo natum est proverbium, et 
cum futurum aliquid dicitur, cum Nibas cecinerit, res 
{impessibilis} <impossibilis> intelligatur. Verum 
nunquid istaec manifesta differentia sit, an potius 
proprietate aliqua illius loci occulta procedat, 
quod Gallinaceus ibi non canat, aliis 
inquirendum relinquo. Ego autem id mihi facile 
persuadeo. Quod vero Theophrastus 210 , eodem 
Aeliano 211 referente, negat in regionibus frigidis, 
et ubi Caeli constitutio nimium humida est, 
Gallinaceos canere, id plane credere non 
possum, secus enim Hollandia, Frisia, Norvegia, 
et remotiores septentrionis regiones 

demonstrant, in quibus etsi frigidae sint, et 
humidae, Galli nihilo remissius quam in quavis 
calida regione canunt, tantum abest, ut prorsus 
obmutescant. 

Manifestam porro corporis tegumento 
differentiam constituunt. Non enim omnes 
pennis teguntur, sed nonnullae, licet rarae, ceu 
lanis vestiuntur, unde lanigerae dictae sunt, 
nonnullae pilis, quales in civitate Quelim in 
regno Mangi reperiuntur, pilis more felis nigris 
vestitae, nostrat<i>um more parientes, et 
bonam edentibus carnem praestantes. Lanigeras 
Fuch urbs maxima versus Orientem, ut 



But until this point they differ for their size. Now let 
me describe the remaining differences, if some are 
existing. Aelian* seems to assert that there are mute 
roosters, when he says: Nibas is a place near the town of 
Thessalonica Y ~ in Macedonia^ where the population of roosters, 
mute in a pepetual silence, never is heard to utter a sound 
thanks to the singing which is usual for these birds: whence even 
a proverb arose, and when they say that something will happen 
when a rooster of Nibas will crow, it must be regarded as an 
impossible thing. But I leave others to inquire whether, 
as there the rooster is not crowing, this is an 
unequivocal difference, or rather it is proceeding from 
some hidden property of that place. But I am quite 
persuaded of the following. I cannot believe at all 
what Theophrastus* is saying, as Aelian himself is 
referring, when he denies that roosters crow in cold 
regions and where the climate is too much humid, for 
Holland, Friesland*, Norway and more remote 
northern countries demonstrate otherwise, in which, 
although they are cold and humid, the roosters crow 
not at all more lazily than in any warm region, it is so 
far that they become completely silent. 

Furthermore they show an evident difference by the 
covering of the body. For not all - the hens - are 
covered with feathers, but some, although rare, are 
covered like with wool, whence they are called 
woolly*, some are covered with hair, such as those 
found in the city of Quelim - Quenlinfu, Kien-ning 
Fu - in the kingdom of Mangi, wearing black hair like 
that of a cat, laying eggs as our hens do, and they 
offer tasteful meat for eating. The very big city of 



209 La natura degli animali, XV, 20: Vi e una localita vicino alia citta di Tessalonica, in Macedonia, chiamata Nibas. I galli che vivono 
qui non lanciano il loro caratteristico canto, ma restano sempre silenziosi. Ed e per questo che quando una cosa e ritenuta 
impossibile, si cita abitualmente quel proverbio che dice: 'avrai questo quando i galli di Nibas canteranno'. (traduzione di Francesco 
Maspero, 1998) 

210 La referenza segnalata da Aldrovandi e il De natura animalium 111,20. Francesco Maspero (1998) precisa invece trattarsi del 
frammento 187. In effetti si tratta del frammento 187, come dimostra il ritaglio tratto da Theophrasti Eresii opera, quae supersunt, omnia 
graeca recensuit, latine interpretatus est ¥ ridericus Wimmer (Parisiis, Editore Ambrosio Firmin Didot, 1866): 



Fe. clxxxvii. 



Fa. CLXXXVU. 



Locis humectis et ubi aer humkiior est galli non ca- 

nutit , ut Th. auctor est. {.-Elian. Hist, anim. 3, 38 ; 



uitEpttytfv o! aisxTpuov£( oilx s&outii, q)ij<rt @. (Slian. 
Hist. anim. 3, 38,} 

E verosimile che Aldrovandi abbia fatto riferimento a un'opera pubblicata nel 1522 a Lione, nella quale forse e contenuto il 
frammento 187 di Teofrasto: Aristotelis et Theophrasti Historiae: cum de natura animalium, turn de plantis & earum causis, cunda fere, quae 
Deus opt. max. homini contemplanda exhibuit, ad amussim complectentes: nunc iam suo restitutae nitori, & mendis omnibus, quoad fieri potuit, 
repurgatae: cvm indice copiosissimo: ex quo superfiluum quod erat, decerpsimus: quod uero necessarium nobis uisum est, superaddidimus. Lugduni: Apud 
Gulielmum Rouillium, 1552. Translation of Aristotle's [Peri ta zoia istoriai, Peri zoion morion, Peri zoion geneseos, Peri zoion 
kineseos, Peri zoion poreias (romanized form)]; and Theophrastus' [Peri phuton istorias, Peri phuton aition (romanized form)] 
Location: Hancock in Special Collections Q155.A716 1552. 

211 La natura degli animali, 111,38: Teofrasto dice che i galli non cantano nelle zone palustri e dove soffia un vento eccessivamente 
umido. II lago di Feneo [citta dell' Arcadia] non produce pesci. E lo stesso scrittore afferma che, dato che e fredda la costituzione 
fisica delle cicale, esse cantano quando vengono riscaldate dal sole, (traduzione di Francesco Maspero, 1998) 



39 



Odoricus ex foro lulu 212 testatur, producit, tanti 
candoris, ut vix nivi cedant. 



Fuch - Fuzhou, toward the East, produces woolly 
hens of such a whiteness, as Odoricus from Fnuli* 
testifies, that barely they are less than snow. 



Page 194 



Pennatarum rursus aliae pedibus sunt nudis, aliae 
hirsutis; [194] quas postenores Germani 
{Gehossle} 213 <Gehossle? - gehosslete> 
{hennen} <Hennen> dicunt, quasi caligis 
mdutas. Rursum aliae cristam habent simplicem, 
aliae duplicem, caudam aliae, et aliae minime. 

In partu praeterea maximum discnmen est. 
Iuvencae enim, ut Plmius 214 , et Aristoteles 215 
scnbunt pnmae pariunt statim vere meunte, et 
plura quam veteres, at minora: et in eodem foetu 
prima, et novissima (scilicet minora pariunt) ut 
Plinius ex semetipso addidit. Contra vero 
Albertus Gallmas mvenes aestate parere, veteres 
principio vens assent, et hanc rationem addit, 
quod aestate superfluus humor, uti, et autumno 
in mvenibus excitetur, veterum vero fngiditas 
caliditate, et humiditate verm temp oris 
temperetur; quae sane ratio omnmo philosophica 
est, et ventati consona. 



Rursus alias bis in die, alias semel tantum ova 
edere cum ipsum Aristotelem 216 , turn Plinium 



In turn, among those furnished with feathers, some 
have naked legs, others have legs bristled with 
feathers, and Germans call these latest gehosslete* 
Hennen — shod hens, as if shod with footwear. 
Furthermore some have a single comb, others a 
duplex one, some have a tail and others not at all. 

Moreover, as far as eggs laying is concerned, the 
difference is very wide. For, as Pliny* and Aristotle* 
write, young hens are first in laying eggs as soon as 
the spring begins and more than older ones, but 
smaller eggs: and, in the span of a same producing 
career*, they are thus - so made, i.e. smaller - the first 
and the last ones (that is, they lay them smaller) as 
Pliny himself added. On the contrary Albertus* claims 
that young hens lay in the summer, the older ones at 
the beginning of spring, and is adding this reason: that 
in young hens in summer as well as in autumn their 
fluid in excess is excited, while the sluggishness of old 
hens is mitigated by heat and humidity of springtime; 
really this explanation is completely philosophic, and 
corresponding to the truth. 

Again we have not only Aristotle himself but also 
Pliny as sources regarding the fact that some lay eggs 



212 Itinerarium Fratris Odorici de Foro Jiilii, Ordinis Fratrum Minorum, de mirabilibus Orientalium Tartarum (1330). "Partendomi di questa 
terra [dall'odierna Quanzhou] venni verso oriente a una citta clie si chiama Fozo, clie gira ben trenta miglia: Quivi sono i maggiori 
galli del mondo, e le galline bianche come neve: ma non anno penne, ma lana a modo di pecore." (Memoriale Toscano, 33) - La 
citazione precedente di Aldrovandi e chiaramente tratta dal Milione di Marco Polo: "E hawi belle donne, e hawi galline clie non 
hanno penne, ma peli come gatte, e tutte nere, e fanno uova come le nostre, e sono molto buone da mangiare." (CXXXIV Del reame 
di Fugiu - II Milione, versione toscana della Crusca) 

213 Conrad Gessner FListoria Animalium III (1555), pag. 415*: Sunt quaedam pedibus per to turn hirsutis, gehoBlete Hiiner. § In data 
14 febbraio 2009 ricevevo da Daniel Maennle una risposta al quesito se sia corretto gehossle oppure gehossle, ma la corretta grafia 
pare essere quella riportata da Gessner: gehosslete. Per cui la si adotta. Ecco la risposta di Maennle. § Gehosslete Hiiner means 
Chicken "with feathered legs "which are behost/bestrumpft (contemporary expression of pigeon breeder) -> substantive - > 
Hosen/Hoschen -> leg feathers -> grouse legged -> second link -> Feathered pants -> Feathered 'trousers'. So the expression 
gehosslete "was borrowed of the human lifeworld of that contemporary time of Gessner of the "word for trousers (outdated) or 
pants. From this period is also the expression of "gehosslete Glyssblumle". The problem is, that we all can't say, whether the 
expression 'behoste Hiihner' or feather pants/feather trousers "was really used for chicken in former times. In any case it is still 
used "with groused pigeons (behoste/bestrumpfte Tauben) and with dogs (e.g. the bushy thighs [stark behoste Keulen] in the 
Standard of Bernhardiner in CH)! Finally I found this explanation in an historic dictionary "behoste Beine (Pedes braccati): die 
mit lang herabhangenden Federn bedeckten Beine vieler Vogel." Feathered legs/Feather pants: with long droopy feathers 
covered legs at many birds. 

214 Naturalis historia X,146: Quaedam omni tempore coeunt, ut gallinae, et pariunt, praeterquam duobus mensibus hiemis 
brumalibus. Ex iis iuvencae plura quam veteres, sed minora, et in eodem fetu prima ac novissima. Est autem tanta fecunditas ut 
aliquae et sexagena pariant, aliquae cotidie, aliquae bis die, aliquae in tantum ut effetae moriantur. Hadrianis laus maxima. 

215 FListoria animalium VI,2 560b: Le gallinelle giovani incominciano a deporre uova subito all'inizio della primavera, e ne fanno piu 
delle vecchie; le uova delle piu giovani, pero, risultano piu piccole. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) - Le successive considerazioni di 
Alberto vengono cosi citate da Conrad Gessner in FListoria animalium LLL (1555) pag. 415: Gallinae iuvenes pariunt aestate, quum 
superfluus humor exiccatur in eis: et autumno quoque. Veteres autem magis principio veris: quod turn calido humido frigiditas 
naturae earum temperatur, Albert. 

216 FListoria animalium VI,2 558b: Certe galline di cortile depongono uova anche due volte al giorno, ed e accaduto talvolta che 
morissero in poco tempo per aver fatto troppe uova. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 



40 



authores habemus. Nonnullae etiam e cortalibus, 
inquit llle, bis pariunt. lam aliquae in tantum copiae 
provenerunt, ut {effatae} <effetae> brevi morerentur. 
Quam sententiam indubitanter hunc in modum 
Plinius 217 ab illo transtulit: Est autem, inquit, tanta 
foecunditas ut aliquae, et sexagena pariant, {aliquo} 
<aliquae> quotidie, aliquae bis, aliquae in tantum, ut 
{effatae) <effetae> moriantur. Aristo teles 218 etiam 
alibi, si modo genuinus Aristoteles, author est ex 
aliorum relatione Gallmas in Illyna, non uti alibi 
semel parere, sed bis, aut ter in die. Item alibi 219 
disertissimis verbis tradit, in genere Gallinarum 
esse, quae pariant ova omnia gemma: in quibus 
animadversum sit, quod de vitello exposuit, 
(dixerat autem ova gemma binis constare vitellis, 
qui ne invicem confundantur, facere in nonnullis 
quoddam praetenue septum albummis medium: 
alns vero, vitellos contactu mutuo sine ullo 
discrimme coniungi). Ait autem {quasdam} 
<quandam> duodevigmti pepensse gemma, 
eaque exclusisse, praeterquam si quae essent, ut 
fit, irrita{:}<.> Caetens foetus prodiisse, sed ita 
geminos exclusos, ut alter esset maior: alter 
minor: et tandem in monstrum degenerasse, qui 
minor novissime provenisset. 

Verum eiusmodi partus praeter potius quam 
secundum naturam fieri viden possit. Nam et 
Plinius 220 etiam tradit Cornelii Celsi authoritate 
nixus Gallmas quasdam omnia gemina parere, et 
geminos interdum excludere, atque alterum pullomm 
maiorem esse, alioquin {negare} <negant> omnino 
geminos excludi. Vetus item quidam Aristotelis 
mterpres, ut ex recentiori quodam citat 
Ornithologus, ad eundem sensum vertit ex 
Arabico hoc pacto: Et in quolibet inveniuntur 
gemelli, et unus gemellorum parvus est, et alter magnus: et 
multoties est parvus monstrosus. Sed Graeca 
Aristotelis exemplana, nisi mendum subesse 



twice a day*, others only once. The former says: 
Among barnyard hens some lay also twice. Some reached also a 
so big amount that they died exhausted in a short time. 
Doubtless Pliny quoted from him these words in the 
following way: Moreover their fecundity is so big, he says, 
that some come to lay also sixty eggs, some once a day, others 
twice, others lay so much that thy die exhausted. Also 
elsewhere Aristotle, on condition that he is the true 
Aristotle, reports from someone else's tale that in 
Illyna* the hens do not lay once a day as they do 
elsewhere, but twice or thrice a day. Likewise in 
another passage with very clear words he says that 
within the genus of the hens there are those which lay 
all twin eggs: but in this regard we must pay attention 
to what he told about the yolk (for he had said that 
twin eggs are made up by two yolks, which, in order 
to do not merge each other, in some eggs give rise to 
like a very thin diaphragm of albumen in between: 
while in other eggs the yolks are joined by mutual 
contact without any separation). He says moreover 
that a hen had laid eighteen twin eggs, and that she 
hatched them, except those which, as it happens, were 
germ-free. From the other eggs hatched chicks, but 
the hence hatched twins were of that sort that one 
was larger: the other smaller: and finally the smaller 
one, last hatched, degenerated into freak. 

Really it could seem that a hatching of this kind is 
occurring more against rather then in accordance with 
Nature. For also Pliny records on the authority of 
Cornelius Celsus* that Some hens lay all twin eggs, and 
sometimes they hatch out twins, and one of the two chicks is 
larger, on the other hand thy are claiming that twins are no 
hatching out at all. Also an ancient translator of 
Aristotle, as the Ornithologist cites from a more 
recent one, translates with the same meaning from 
Arabic as follows: And in whatever egg twins are found, one 
of the twins is small, the other is large: and often the small one 
is freakish. But the Greek manuscripts of Aristotle, 
unless we believe that there a mistake is concealed. 



217 Naturalis historia X,146: Est autem tanta fecunditas ut aliquae et sexagena pariant, aliquae cotidie, aliquae bis die, aliquae in 
tantum ut effetae moriantur. 

218 Mirabilia o De mirabilibus o De mirabilibus auscultationibus 128,2 (842b 27). 

219 Historia animalium VI,3 562a: Le uova gemelle presentano due tuorli; in certi casi vie un sottile diaframma di bianco per evitare 
che i gialli si Saldino fra loro, mentre in altri questo diaframma manca e i gialli sono in contatto. Vi sono certe galline che fanno solo 
uova gemelle, ed e nel loro caso che sono state condotte le osservazioni su cio che accade nel tuorlo. Una di esse depose diciotto 
uova e ne fece nascere dei gemelli, tranne che da quelle che risultarono sterili; le altre comunque erano feconde, a parte il fatto che 
uno dei gemelli [562b] era piu grande e l'altro piu piccolo, mentre l'ultimo uovo conteneva un mostro. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

220 Naturalis historia X,150: Quaedam gallinae omnia gemina ova pariunt et geminos interdum excludunt, ut Cornelius Celsus auctor 
est, alterum maiorem; aliqui negant omnino geminos excludi. Qui Plinio probabilmente accenna a un passo di Celso che non ci e 
stato tramandato. - Cornelius Celsus, De Medicina, is referred to, but he says nothing of this sort. (Lind, 1963) - Piu che evidente lo 
sconnesso download di Aldrovandi da Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 419: Quaedam gallinae omnia gemina 
ova pariunt, et geminos interdum excludunt, ut Cor. Celsus au<c>tor est: alterum maiorem, alioquin negant omnino geminos 
excludi, Plin. — La motivazione dello scambio quasi intraducibile tra alioquin e aliqui viene tra poco dipanata da Claymundus, 
anch'egli citato da Gessner a questo proposito. 



41 



iudicemus, ita habent 221 . Toe p.ev ovv ocAAa 
yovip.oc, TtArjv oaa To p.ev jieitjov To 8e eAartov 
yiveTai toov 8i8tj|kov, To 8e TeAeuTaiov 
TepaTc68eq: hoc est, ut ego arbitror: caeteris itaque 
gemina faecunda sunt, nisi quibus hoc contingit, ut alter 
maior fuerit, alter minor. Ex iis enim tandem in 
monstrum degenerat, qui minor {nonissime} 
<noiissime> provenit. 222 Quibus verbis aperte 
habemus, eiusmodi geminorum ovorum partum 
minime ex Aristotelis sententia monstruosum 
esse, sed ex minoribus, qui novissime generatur 
in monstrum tantummodo abire. Et videtur certe 
Plinius vel ex professo cum Aristotele, quern 
alioqui alias ubique sequi solet, hac in re minime 
convenire, quando Cornelium Celsum authorem, 
non Aristotelem citet. Utra autem sententia 
fuerit verior monstrabit experientia. Alihi quidem 
Aristoteli adhaerere multorum fide dignorum 
relationes, et experientia ipsa cogunt, atque eo 
magis, cum in quibusdam Pliniams exemplanbus 
habeatur, uti recte annotavit Claymundus, non 
alioqui, sed aliqui negant omnino geminos 
excludi. Ormthologus quaent, an legendum in 
Aristotelis verbis non TtArjv oaa, sed TtArjv oti: 
et yiveTou. praesens loco praeteriti eyeveTo 
accipiendum sit, ut non simpliciter hie de ovis 
geminis scribat Aristoteles, sed de illius tantum 
Gallinae geminis, quorum historiam hoc in loco 
recitat hoc sensu: Ex ovis octodecim Gallinae 
cuiusdam omnibus geminis, pauca quaedam 
irrita fuerunt: caetera vero omnia rite foecunda: 
nisi quod e geminis pullus alter semper minor 
fuit, et ultimus (alter scilicet minor de ovo 
postremo excluso vel parto) monstruosus. 

Ut ut est, eiusmodi partum minime 
monstruosum esse concludendum est: nam et 
Pierius Valerianus 223 apud Macedones Gallinam 
repertam assent ex aliorum relatu, quae ova 
duodevigmti semel edident, et mcubitu binos 
pullos ex ovis singulis excluserit. Quod vero 



have this passage: Ta men oitn alia gonima, plen hosa to 
men mei^on to de elatton ghinetai t§n didym§n, to de teleutaion 
teratodes: that is, as I think: Therefore, in comparison with 
the other ones, the twin eggs are fertile, but to some of them it 
happens that a twin is larger, the other smaller. In short, of 
them degenerates then into a freak the smaller one, hatched out 
as last. From these words we clearly learn that 
according to the statement of Aristotle the hatching 
of such twin eggs is not freakish at all, but that only 
that which is hatching out as last from smaller ones 
turns into a freak. And doubtless it turns out clear 
that Pliny openly in this regard doesn't agree with 
Aristotle, whom otherwise elsewhere he usually 
entirely follows, being that he quotes as reliable 
source Cornelius Celsus, not Aristotle. Then 
experience will show which one of two statements is 
closer to the truth. But, as for me, they are compelling 
me to adhere to Aristotle the reports of many 
trustworthy authors and the experience itself, all the 
more because in some Pliny's manuscripts is quoted, 
as Claymundus* correctly pointed out, not alioqui - on 
the other hand, but aliqui - some people - negant omnino 
geminos excludi - affirm that twins are not hatched at all. 
The Ornithologist wonders whether in the words of 
Aristotle we must read not plen hosa - except as much 
as, but plen hoti - except that: and whether the present 
tense ghinetai — hatches - should be read in place of the 
past tense egheneto - hatched, since in this passage 
Aristotle is not merely writing about twin eggs, but 
only of the twin eggs of that hen, whose eggs in the 
following excerpt he is quoting the history as follows: 
Of the eighteen all twin eggs of a hen, only few of them were 
sterile: doubtless all the others were fertile as usual: except that, 
from the twin ones, one of two chicks hatched out always 
smaller, and the last one (that is, the smaller of the couple, 
hatched out from the last hatched or laid egg) was freakish. 

Be that as it may, we must conclude that a laying of 
this kind is not abnormal at all: for also Giovan Pietro 
Bolzani* asserts on the basis of description by others 
that among the Macedonians* a hen was found which 
only once laid eighteen eggs, and after she incubated 
them* delivered two chicks from each egg. The most 



221 Filippo Capponi in Ornithologia latina (1979) riporta il seguente testo greco tratto dalla Historia animalium VI,3 562a e sgg.: Ta men 
oun alia gonima, (plen oti to meizon to d'elatton ghinetai ton didymon), to de teleutaion teratodes. 

222 Questa interpretazione del testo aristotelico da parte di Aldrovandi la traduciamo tenendo conto della concordanza dei generi 
maschile e neutro sia dei sostantivi die degli aggettivi. Tuttavia la nostra traduzione si contrappone a cio die Aldrovandi subito 
dopo afferma, che cioe sono le uova piu piccole a generare delle mostruosita. Sull'esattezza del testo latino bisognerebbe chiedere 
lumi ad Aldrovandi! Oppure a Gessner, visto che il testo e bellamente copiato da Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), 
pag. 420, omettendo pero la E iniziale: E caeteris itaque gemina foecunda sunt, nisi quibus hoc contigit, ut alter maior fuerit, alter 
minor, in iis enim tandem in monstrum degenerat qui minor novissime provenit. - Poi pero Aldrovandi chiude degnamente la 
diatriba citando le conclusioni dell'Ornitologo, che sembrano essere quelle piu sensate. 

223 Pierius Valerianus [J. P. V. Bellunensis], Hieroglyphica, sive de sacris Aegyptiorurn Uteris commentarii (Basle, 1556, 1567, 1575; Leyden, 
1602, 1610, 1626-31; Frankfurt, 1614, 1678; Cologne, 1631). The English translation is by B. Vale, The Early History of Egypt... from the 
Hieroglyphics of P. Valerianus, etc. (1857). (Lind, 1963) 



42 



gemma quaedam singulis diebus edant id Patavii 
sese observasse testatur tertio etiam 
nonnunquam addito, verum eo abortivo, 
Excellentissimus M. Antonius Ulmus, cuius 
paulo ante mentionem feci, exper<i>entia 
monitus Plenum vera narrasse asseverat, sed 
quam ipse gemina peperisse vidit, earn id bis in 
hebdomada tantum praestitisse aiebat, ldque 
horis matutinis, et vespertinis, Gallmamque 
tandem ob uteri decidentiam obnsse, fuisse 
autem Gallmam Patavinam. Vere itaque 
monstnficos pullos dicemus, qui gemmi ex uno 
ovo provemunt simul comuncti. Fit enim saepe, 
ut pullus sit bicorporeus, unde apud Albertum 
legimus{.} <:> In oris quibusdam gemelli sunt, sed 
alter gemellomm comprimit alium, et aliquando mptis 
telis (tunicis) bicorporeus generator. 



excellent Marco Antonio Olmo*, whom I mentioned 
a short while ago, bears witness that he himself had 
seen in Padua that truly some hens lay daily two eggs, 
sometimes also adding a third one, which however is 
abortive - without yolk, and on his own experience is 
assuring that Bolzani told the truth, but that the same 
hen he himself saw laying two eggs, he was claiming 
that she did so only twice in a week, and precisely in 
the morning and evening hours, and that finally the 
hen died because of a prolapsed uterus - oviduct?, 
moreover she was a Paduan hen. Thus we should 
properly call as monstrous chicks those which being 
twins come out from a single egg joined together. For 
it often happens that a chick has two bodies, hence 
we read in Albertus: In some eggs there are twins, but one of 
twins compresses the other, and sometimes after the membranes 
(the coverings) are ruptured he hatches endowed with two 
bodies. 



Page 195 



[195] Ab incubatione etiam differentiae capi 
queunt: siquidem aliae semel, aliae bis terve aliae 
multoties mcubant. Florentinus author est in 
Alexandria ilia, quae ad Aegyptum spectat 
Gallmas quasdam Monosiras dici, ex quibus 
pugnaces onantur Galli, quae bis, aut ter 
incubent, post absolutionem scilicet pullis ipsis 
subtractis, seorsumque enutritis. Ita contingit, ut 
una Gallma quadragmta aut etiam sexaginta, et 
plures unico mcuba{n}tu excludat. 

Differunt denique moribus et ingenio: nam 
praeter quam quod aliae domesticae, aliae 
sylvestres vocantur, inter ipsas etiam domesticas 
quaedam suapte natura adeo mites, et cicures 
sunt, ut sine humano consortio vitam transigere 
quodammodo nequeant: cuius rei oculatus testis 
sum. Siquidem ante aliquot annos in suburbano 
meo Gallmam alebam, quae praeterquam quod 
tota die sola per domum absque caeterarum 
comitatu vagaretur, vespen ad quietem sese 
receptura nullibi nisi prope me inter libros, 
eosque maiores, etsi aliquoties abacta, recubare 
vellet. Aliae contra adeo ferae sunt, ut homines 
prorsus fugiant, tantum abest, ut earum 
familiantate gaudeant. Aliae in propnam 
sobolem saeviunt, aliae ova, postquam edidere, 
absumunt. 



Differences may be deduced also from incubation: 
since some hens incubate once, others twice or thrice, 
and others many times. Florentinus* is witness that in 
that Alexandria* belonging to Egypt, there are certain 
hens called monosir*, from which should hatch out 
fighting cocks, and which should incubate twice or 
thrice after they have been released, that is, after the 
chicks have been taken away and raised separately. 
Thus it happens that a hen alone hatches forty or 
sixty or even more chicks by a single sitting. 

Finally they differ in character and temper: for, apart 
from that some are called domestic and others wild, 
also among the domestic themselves, because of their 
nature itself, some are so meek and mild that 
somehow they are not able to live without human 
companionship: and I am eyewitness of this. For 
some years ago I was raising in my farm a hen who, in 
addition to the fact that she wondered the whole day 
alone through the house without the company of 
other hens, at night since she had to withdraw for 
resting didn't want to lie down nowhere but near me 
among the books, and especially the greatest ones, 
although a few times she had been driven away. On 
the contrary others are so wild that they quite avoid 
humans who are so far from enjoying their familiarity. 
Some rage against their own offspring, others eat eggs 
after laid them. 



43 



FORMA, ET DESCRIPTIO 

Galli, et Gallinae in genere. 

Aristo teles 224 , mterprete Gaza Galium Gallinaceum 
Alucone minorem esse prodidit: sed id olim 
doctissimi Petri Bellonii authoritate de maiori 
Alucone intelligendum esse monstravimus: 
alioqui revera Gallus Alucone multo maior est. 
Quod ad colorem attinet, is in toto gallinaceo 
genere ascribi non potest. Huic enim soli 
fidipedum 225 altilium colores diversi sunt. Nam 
aliis huiusce generis altilibus alius, atque alius 
color est, et in singulis vel color unus per totum 
corpus, vel vani: unde Solon a Cr<o>eso 
exquisitissime omnium ornamentorum genere 
splendente, sublimique in solio residente 
interrogatus, an pulchrius unquam spectaculum 
vidisset, respondisse fertur, teste Laertio 226 , 
Gallos Gallmaceos naturali nitore, et mcredibili 
speciositate vestiri. Et Aelianus 227 in rationis 
expertibus naturam mari praerogativum 
honorem, atque praestantiam elargitam esse 
tradit: serpens, inquit, cristatus est: Gallus item formae 
excellentia illustratur. Verum etsi eiusmodi 
propositio ut plur{r}imum vera sit, et in Gallo 
nostro etiam locum habeat, universaliter tamen 
vera non est, siquidem, ut multis in locis in 
primo opere ostendimus in rapacium genere 



APPEARANCE AND DESCRIPTION 

of the cock and the hen 
from a general point of view 

Accordingly to the translation of Gaza*, Aristotle* 
told that the rooster is smaller than the tawny owl*: 
but formerly I have shown on the authority of the 
very learned Pierre Belon* that we have to think 
about the Alum maior- i.e. about a species greater than 
Aluco: however really the rooster is much greater than 
the Tawny owl. As to color, this cannot be fixed in 
the entire species of gallinaceous. For only this one, 
among fattening cloven feet fowls, has different 
colors. In fact some birds of this species show a color, 
the others another one and still another, and in each 
subject is present either just a color throughout the 
whole body, or various colors: hence they tell that 
Solon*, asked by Croesus* shining in a very refined 
way with every kind of ornaments and sat on a high 
throne, whether he had ever seen a more beautiful 
sight, as testified by Diogenes Laertius*, he replied 
that the cocks are clothed by natural splendor and 
incredible beauty. And Aelian* reports that, among 
animals devoid of reason, Nature granted the male a 
honorific privilege and a superiority: the snake, he says, 
is crested* : likewise the cock is embellished by excellence of the 
appearance. But, although such a statement is most 
often true and has its place also in our rooster, it is 
not, however, universally true, since, as I have shown 



224 Errato il riferimento di Aldrovandi al libro IX, cap. 8 della Historia animalium. Si tratta invece del libro VIII,3,592b dove si dice 
che il gufo (o una specie di esso) e piu grande di un gallo (ho men elebs mei^on alektrybnos) . Aluco e termine del latino medievale die 
Ducange glossa hibou; in realta poco prima Aristotele, nominando i rapaci notturni, ha menzionato nyttikbrax, glayx e byas, che il 
traduttore francese (P. Louis) rende con hulotte, chouette e hibou, cioe gufo comune (corvo notturno), civetta* e gufo reale (A 7), nelle 
classificazione di Linneo Strix bubo. Di qui si ricava che Aldrovandi ha unificato le varie specie di gufi: quello che nel testo di 
Aristotele e propriamente Yelebs, data la citazione letterale, sembra confuso con il byas, in un rapporto di varieta della stessa specie, 
mentre nel Medioevo il falco reale (francese hibou) e l'aluco. Per Keller elebs e forse il gufo delle paludi mentre byas e il gufo reale (o 
barbagianni). Quanto e sicura l'identificazione dell'allocco con il gufo reale? Allocco deriva secondo Devoto dal latino tardo ulucus, 
uluccus, analizzato quale ampliamento di un presunto * luccus, stolto (aluco e quindi voce medievale). Resta il fatto che l'allocco sia 
effettivamente una specie di gufo. - Vediamo anche alcuni dati riferiti da Lind. Aldrovandi's reference to Aristotle H. A. 9. 8 has 
nothing about the aluco, "which Ducange, Glossarium, s. v., defines as French, hibou, owl; see also L. Diefenbach, Glossarium l^atino- 
germanicum mediae et infimae aetatis (Frankfurt am Main, 1857), s. v. See Aldrovandi Ornithologia I, 534-39, "where the aluco is discussed 
on the basis of Pierre Belon, Histoire naturelle des oiseaux (1555), "which Aldrovandi Ornithologia I, 7, said he translated into Latin. 
(Lind, 1963) 

225 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 381: Gallinaceo generi soli fidipedum altilium colores diversi, nam et aliae 
huius generis alites aliis coloribus visuntur, et in singulis vel color unus per omne corpus, vel varii. - pag. 466: Otis avis fidipes est, 
tribus insistens digitis, magnitudine gallinacei grandioris, capite oblongo, oculis amplis, rostro acuto, lingua ossea, gracili collo. - 
L'aggettivo fidipes non e attestato nei lessici, ma esiste fissipes usato da Ausonio* in Epistulae 5,3: Tertia fissipedes renovavit Luna 
iuvencas, - 7,49: Nee iam fissipedis per calami vias. - Secondo noi fidipedum puo essere accettato, in quanto la sua radice risale 
comunque al vetbofnd-o ffid-i, fess-um), ere. 

226 Diogenes Laertius Ufe of Solon I, 51. (Lind, 1963) 

227 Aldrovandi non annota a quale brano delle opere di Eliano sta facendo riferimento. Dovrebbe senz'altro trattarsi di L,a natura 
degli animali XI,26, (A quanto sembra, anche tra gli animali la natura ha favorito quelli di genere maschile. Ad esempio il drago 
(drakon) di sesso maschile ha il ciuffo ilbphon) e la barba (jpenen), anche il gallo ha la cresta (Ibphon) e i bargigli ikallaia); il cervo ha le 
corna, il leone la criniera e la cicala il canto.) per la cui analisi si rimanda alia voce serpente con il ciuffo* del lessico. — II nostro Ulisse 
doveva avere una biblioteca assai misera, per cui non poteva controllare le citazioni. Infatti l'errata citazione, che non e di Eliano, e 
pedissequamente tratta da Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 381: In rationis expertibus mari praerogativum 
honorem atque praestantiam quandam natura largita est. serpens cristatus est: gallus item formae excellentia illustratur, Aelian. 



44 



foeminae manbus, 
pulchriores. 



et praestantiores sunt, et 



Gallus cristam in capite gerit, eamque semper 
exertam, atque rubentem, dummodo Integra 
sanitate fruatur, quare Theocritus 228 eum 
<Doiviic6Aocpov vocabat per periphrasim. Talem 
cristam solus, teste Aristotele 229 , sibi peculiarem 
sortitus est: sic autem mstitutam, ut nee caro sit, 
nee a natura carnis omnino aliena. Spectatissimum 
insigne, inquit Plinius 230 elegantissime hanc 
cristam depingens, Aristotelemque 

penphrasticos explicans, Gallinaceis corporeum, 
serratum, nee carnem {id} <ita> 231 esse nee 
cartilaginem, nee callum iure dixerimus, verum pecuRare. 

Unde apud Aristophanem 232 Kup(3aaiav cristam 
peculiarem potius quam cassidem {solus} 
<solum> rectam, ut vulgaris mterpretatio habet 
in versu{.} <:> 

'Eiti xrfc KecpaAfy;, tf|v Kup(3aaiav toov 
opviBcov p.6vo<; 6ptr|v 
debemus interpretan: quoniam Upupa, Alauda 
cristata, similesque cristatae volucres alioqui 
cristam etiam erectam gerunt: quare recte 
Hesychius in hoc certe prudens Kup(3oc(3{av 
cristam Gallinaceam tra<n>stulit: puto autem 
Kup(3aa{av legendum, typographique mendum 



in many points of first volume, among the genus of 
birds of prey the females are both above the males 
and more beautiful. 

On the head the rooster bears a comb which is always 
prominent and reddish as long as he enjoys excellent 
health, that's why Theocritus* by a circumlocution 
called him phoinikolophos - crimson combed. According 
to Aristotle, he alone has been blessed with such a 
comb, peculiar to him: for it is so composed that it is 
neither flesh nor completely unrelated to the flesh's 
substance. Pliny*, describing very properly this comb 
and explaining Aristotle by periphrases, says: - The 
most remarkable ornament has been given by Nature - to the 
roosters, fleshy, serrated; neither we can rightly say that it is 
flesh, nor cartilage nor a callosity, but something peculiar. 

Therefore in Aristophanes* we must to interpret 
kyrbasian - tiara, pointed Persian turban - as a peculiar 
comb rather than only a pointed helmet, as the 
common interpretation shows in the verse: 

Epi tes kephales, ten kyrbasian ton 6rnith§n monos orten 
On the head, the only bird having the tiara* upright. 
In fact the Hoopoe, the Crested Lark - Alauda arvensis 
- and similar crested birds somehow cany also an 
erected crest: therefore Hesychius*, surely 
experienced in this field, correctly glossed kyrbabian 
into rooster's comb: nevertheless I think that it must 
be read kyrbasian and that it is a typographical error. 
Since it would have been easy to read kyrbabian 



228 Idyllia'KXIl 72. (Lorenzo Rocci) — Gessner da come riferimento l'Idillio XXVII. 

229 Historia animalium 11,1 2,504b: Inoltre certi uccelli presentano una cresta, che normalmente consiste di piume erette; unica 
eccezione il gallo, che ha una cresta particolare, formata non proprio di carne ma di qualcosa non molto dissimile dalla carne. 
(traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

230 Naturalis historia XI,122: Per medium caput a rostro residentem et fulicarum generi dedit, cirros pico quoque Martio et grui 
Balearicae, sed spectatissimum insigne gallinaceis, corporeum, serratum; nee carnem ita esse nee cartilaginem nee callum iure 
dixerimus, verum peculiare datum. 

231 Plinio ha ita, ma Aldrovandi desume id da Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 381: Spectatissimum insigne 
gallinaceis, corporeum, serratum: nee carnem id esse, nee cartilaginem, nee callum iure dixerimus, verum peculiare, Plinius. 

232 Aristophanes Birds 487. (Lind, 1963) 

233 Angelo Poliziano Rjisticus, in Prose volgari inedite e poesie latine e greche edite e inedite di Angelo Ambrogini Poliziano (ed. by Isidoro del 
Lungo, Firenze, G. Barbera, 1867), 324, line 401. I have "written short notes on Poliziano's poetry, both Latin and Italian, in two of 
my books, Lyric Poetry of the Italian Renaissance (New Haven, Yale, 1954), and Latin Poetry in Verse Translation (Boston, Houghton, 
Mifflin Co. 1957). On the rooster's crest, see Varro, 3. 9. 4. 5; Pliny, 10. 29. 44. 86; 10. 56. 77. 156; 27. 5. 23. 40. (Lind, 1963) - II 
Rusticus fu composto da Poliziano nel 1483-84. Egli cosi scrive a proposito del gallo: cui vertice purpurat alto | fastigiatus apex. 
Questo brano verra riportato da Aldrovandi a pagina 197. 

234 Verosimilmente si tratta di un raddoppiamento della^del latino rufus, che significa rosso. Lo stesso vocabolo viene riferito da 
Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 405: Gallorum cristas aliqui barbare ruffas nominant. 

235 Gessner riporta ascili. Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 405: Ascili, id est crista galli, Sylvaticus. - In Opus 
pandectarum medicinae di Matteo Silvatico (Vicenza, Hermannus Liechtenstein, Levilapsis,1480) al capitolo 66 — ASTERION — viene 
riportato: Ascili i. crista galli. Non ne viene fornita la fonte. — Ascili e stato usato anche con un particolare significato, come viene 
riferito da Johann Jacob Hofmann (1635-1706) in Lexicon Universale (Leiden, 1698): ASCODROGILI, vel ASCILI: Haeretici, qui 
Paracleto Montani se plenos iactitantes, Bacchanalia in Ecclesiam introducebant, et circa lagenam vino repletam circumibant solenni 
pompa. Augustin. haer. 62. Philastrius de haeret. 

236 Aldrovandi ha amputate il testo di Gessner, non eliminando, ma adattando il quoque al proprio testo. Cosi riporta Conrad 
Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 405: [...Jquanquam Varinus Cyrbasiam et Cybarsiam quoque caput gallinacei 
interpretatur, K£cpaAf|V dAsiCTopo<;:[...] 



45 



esse. Facile enim fuit pro Kup(3aaiav icup(3a(3{av 
legere. Politianus 233 cristam in Gallinaceo genere 
apicem vocavit. Aliqui barbare ruffas 234 
appellant, et Sylvaticus nescio qua lingua 
ascil{l}i 235 : Graeci plenque Aocpov; Aristophanes, 
ut clixi, icup(3aaiav, quanquam Varinus 
Cyrbasiam, <et Cyrbasiam> 236 quoque caput 
Gallmacei interpretetur. Hesichius Kopucprjv 
dAeKTopoq, id est verticem, vel cristam Galli. 
Hippocrates 237 Cyrbasiam vocat pileum acutum, 
ut videtur, alii tiaram erectam, qua soli Persarum 
Reges utebantur: unde alibi Suidas: "0 IlepaiKoq 
opviq, 6 aXeicTcop Aeyetai 8ia xr\v Aocpiav 238 , 



instead of kyrbasian. Angelo Poliziano*, in chickens, 
called the comb as apex. Others roughly call the 
combs ruffas - reddish, and Matthaeus Sylvaticus* in I 
don't know what tongue ascili: most of the Greeks 
lophos; Aristophanes, as I said, kyrbasia, although 
Varinus* translates cyrbasia and also cybarsia as 
rooster's head. Hesychius kotyphen alektoros, that is the 
top or the comb of the rooster. As it seems, 
Hippocrates* calls cyrbasia the pointed pileum*, others 
the upright tiara used only by Persian kings: whence 
elsewhere Suidas says: Ho Persikds ornis, ho alektor 
Ughetai dia ten lophian, 



Page 196 



[196] hoc est, Persica avis, Gallmaceus dicitur a 
crista, in dictionario Syrochaldaico KPTDHD 
carvelada legitur pro crista Galli, et metaphonce 
in Arve pro veste rubea mstar cristae Galli. Hinc 
37>mD Curbalm Cuculli, capitis involucra instar 
galearum, vel iuxta alios pallia. Ab hac nota Galli 
{Theocnro} <Theocrito> 239 alibi "OpviBeq 
cpoiviicoAocpoi, hoc est, aves rubricnstatae, 
Latinis cnstatae volucres appellari meruerunt, et 
Martialis 240 Gallos cristatos dixit eo versu. 
Nondum cristati rupere sikntia Galli. 

Ut vero Galli cristam erectam, ita Gallinae 
{plicabilem} 241 <plicatilem> 242 obtinuere, et per 
medium caput deorsum dependentem: quare 
nescio, quid in mentem venent Giberto 
Longolio illas fere disertissimis verbis carere 
profitenti. Hac abscissa animal non moritur; nam 
parum sanguinis ex inflicto vulnere effluit. Super 
qua re mira apud Sigismundum liberum 243 
baronem historia legitur in descriptione itineris 
sui per Moscoviam; quae talis est: Galium, inquit, 
Moscoviticum more Germanorum super currum 
sedentem, frigoreque iam iam morientem, 
famulus crista, quae gelu concreta erat, subito 
abscissa non solum hoc modo servavit, verum 



that is, the cock is called the Persian bird because of 
the comb; in the Syro-Chaldaic dictionary is read 
carvelada for rooster's comb, and in Arve 
metaphorically for a dress which is red like a rooster's 
comb. From this source curbalin they are the hoods, 
helmet-shaped headgears, or cloaks for others. From 
this feature the roosters earned somewhere from 
Theocritus* the name of Omithes phoinikolophoi, that is 
red combed birds, and from Latins of combed birds, 
and Martial* called them combed cocks by this verse: 
Notyet have the combed cocks broken the silence. 

But, like the cocks got an upright comb, then the hens 
got it flexible and hanging down from the middle of 
the head: therefore I don't know what crossed 
Longolius'* mind when he stated with very eloquent 
words that they nearly lack it. When it is cut away, the 
animal doesn't die; for very little blood flows from 
inflicted wound. With regard to that, in Sigismund, 
baron of Herberstein*, in the description of his 
journey through Moscow, we can read a surprising 
tale which sounds as follows: a Muscovite cock, he 
says, roosting upon a cart according to the German 
custom, and which was dying at any moment because 
of the cold, a servant, after quickly cut off its 
completely frozen comb, not only did he save it in 



237 Mulierumll 186. 

238 II lessico Suida riporta effettivamente Aocpiav, ma per lo piu gli antichi autori usarono Aocpvd, O.C,, clie significa criniera, ciuffo 
di peli o di setole. 

2i9 Idyllia XXII 72. 

240 Martial Epigrams 9. 68. 3. (Lind, 1963) 

241 La notizia e tratta da Nicolo Perotto clie, sulla scia di Plinio, potrebbe aver usato plicabilis anziche plicatilis. Conrad Gessner 
Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 381:Gallinae {plicabilis} <plicatilis> crista per medium caput, gallinaceo erecta, Perottus. 

242 Plinio Naturalis historia XI,122: Diximus et cui plicatilem cristam dedisset natura. Per medium caput a rostro residentem et 
fulicarum generi dedit, cirros pico quoque Martio et grui Balearicae, sed spectatissimum insigne gallinaceis, corporeum, serratum; 
nee carnem ita esse nee cartilaginem nee callum iure dixerimus, verum peculiare datum, draconum enim cristas qui viderit, non 
reperitur. 

243 Forse liberum rispecchia il titolo tedesco Freiherr, clie gia da solo significa Barone. 



46 



etiam ut erecto statim collo cantaret, nobis 
admirantibus effecit 244 . 

Sed iam ad alia transeamus. Oculi harum avium 
splendidi sunt, et limpidi. Aiunt quibus tales 
natura largita est, vulgo salaces, et libidmosos 
haberi. Membranosa ilia cutis, quae sub mento, 
et collo utrmque dependet, palea dicitur: sic apud 
Columellam 245 legimus: Paleae ex mtilo albicantes, 
quae velut incanae barbae dependent. Similiter et in 
bobus palearia dicimus, quae a pectore, et collo 
dependent. Hanc membranam, si ita appellare 
placet, Aristo teles 246 , kocAAociov vocat: in cuius 
{voce} <vocis> traductione Gaza maximopere 
hallucmatus est, cristam vertens. Haec enim in 
vertice erecta est: KtxXAaia sive paleae utrmque a 
mails dependent. Videntur autem kocAAocioc dicta 
ob purpureum, flondumque colorem. Nam 
KaA!\r| Graeci flondos colores dicunt, Ta av6r( 
toov pocjijidcTCDV, ut Ammonius 247 de differentiis 
vocum mterpretatur, et ibidem KtxAAma, touq 
toov aXeKTpuovcov Ttcoyoovaq. Ornithologus 
Latinam vocem paleae a Graecis deductam esse 
conijcit, k nempe in it mutato, et \ uno 
exempto. Pro KtiAAaia apud Varinum icdAAcuoi 
legitur pro Gallmacei barba, et omni colore 
purpureo, vel secundum alios vario: et alibi 
icdAea habet pro eadem barba, et secundum 
Aelium Dionysium 248 ea vox eodem authore 
pennas in cauda {earum} <eorum> 249 sigmficat. 



Rostrum omnium avium vulgus Italicum becco 
vocat vocabulo Tolosano antiquo, quanquam 
privatim Gallmacei rostrum, Suetonio 250 teste, 



this way, but he achieved also that the bird suddenly 
straightened the neck and began to crow, while we 
were astonished. 

But now let me pass on to other things. The eyes of 
these birds are shining and limpid. They say that 
those, to whom Nature gave such eyes, they are 
usually believed as lustful and libidinous. That 
membranous skin which hangs on both sides under 
the chin and the neck is called palea - wattle: thus we 
read in Columella*: Wattles of whitish red which hang like 
beards of elderly people. Similarly also in oxen we call 
palearia — dewlaps - the membranes hanging from 
chest and neck. This membrane, if one chooses to call 
it so, Aristotle* names it kdllaion*: Theodorus Gaza* 
was widely led astray when he translated this word, 
being that he renders it as comb. For this one stands 
upright on the top of the head: the kdllaia or wattles 
hang down on both sides from the cheeks. On other 
hand they think that the kdllaia — wattles - are so 
called because of their purple and bright color. For 
the Greeks call kdlle - the beauties - the bright colors, 
ta dnthe ten bammdten - the splendors of dye, as 
Ammonius of Alexandria* interprets in his work 
about the differences of the words, and in the same 
treatise kdllaia, tous ton alektryomn pogonas - the wattles, 
the beards of the cocks. The Ornithologist 
conjectures that the Latin word paleae has been drawn 
from Greeks, and precisely with the change of k into 
7i and one X taken away. In Varinus* we read kdllaioi 
instead of kdllaia with the meaning of rooster's beard 
and of any purple color, or variegated according to 
others: elsewhere he has kdlea for the same beard and, 
as he himself is testifying, according to Aelius 
Dionysius* this word means the feathers they have on 
tail. 

Common Italian people, by an ancient word of 
Toulouse, call becco* the beak of all birds, although, 
according to Suetonius*, it had specifically the 



244 Rerum Moscoviticarum Commentarii - Editionis 1556, paginae 144—156: [151] Equidem nasum, nisi tempestivius a Pristavo 
admonitus fuissem, fere amisissem. Ingressus enim hospitium, vix tandem, nive, monitu Pristavi, nasum macerando ac fricando, 
non citra dolorem sentire coeperam, scabieque quodammodo oborta, ac dein paulatim arescente, convalueram. [152] gallumque 
Moscoviticum, more Germanorum super currum sedentem, frigoreque iamiam morientem, servitor crista, quae gelu concreta erat, 
subito abscissa, non solum hoc modo servavit, verum etiam ut erecto statim collo cantaret, nobis admirantibus, effecit. (www.fh- 
augsburg.de) 

245 De re rustica VIII,2,9. 

246 Historic! animalium IX 631b 10,28. 

247 On the Similarities and Differences of Words (ed. by L. C. Valckenaer, sec. ed., Leipzig, 1822). (Lind, 1963) 

248 Aelius Dionysius, Aelii Dionysii etPausaniae Atticistarum Pragmenta (ed. by E. Schwabe, Leipzig, 1890). (Lind, 1963) 

249 Conrad Gessner, Plistoria Animalium III (1555), pag. 405: KaAsa (malim KaAAaux) barbae gallinaceorum, et pennae in caudis 
eorum secundum Aelium Dionysium, Varinus in ©pova. 

250 Vitellius, 18: Periit cum fratre et filio anno vitae septimo quinquagesimo; nee fefellit coniectura eorum qui augurio, quod factum 
ei Viennae ostendimus, non aliud portendi praedixerant, quam venturum in alicuius Gallicani hominis potestatem; siquidem ab 
Antonio Primo adversarum partium duce oppressus est, cum Tolosae nato cognomen in pueritia Becco fuerat; id valet gallinacei 



47 



sigmficaret: est autem utrique sexui robustum, et 
in supenori parte aduncum, colons plerunque 
cornei. Hesychio, et Varino Kopa^ modo 
Corvum, et omnibus Graecis, significat, modo 
summa Gallinaceorum rostra, nimirum a nigro 
colore quern Graeci Kopov 251 vocant: at nostris 
Gallis utraque rostn pars eiusdem fere semper 
coloris est: quare forte extremitates intellexerint, 
quae quandoque ad nigredmem vergunt. Carnem 
lllam, quae rostrum undique cingit, nonnulli 
mentum vocant, Columella 252 vero etiam genam. 
Longiores caetens plumae aliae collum in Gallo, 
et cervicem undique ambiunt. Has Columella 253 
apposito quidem vocabulo iubas appellabat. Sunt 
enim iubae crines animalium a collo 
dependentes, in quibus videntur aliquod robur 
corporis sui agnoscere: unde Plinius 254 tunc 
praecipuam Leonis generositatem spectari, tradit, quum 
colla, armosque vestiunt iubae. Atque ita eodem 
modo pugnaturi, et irati etiam explicant 
Gallmacei, quasi et in suis aliquid sit, quod 
iracundiam, et animositatem eorum demonstret. 

Apicius 255 in pullo quandam corporis partem 
navim vocat, pullum a navi aperiri iubens: 
putavenm autem omnino pectus ita appellare, 
sed nullo interim firmo argumento nixus, nisi 
quia mox pullum farsilem a pectore apenre 
mbeat. Scio tamen Humelbergium partem 
ventns posteriorem mterpretan, quod ut navis 
cavus, et figura<e> 256 eius non dissimilis sit. 



meaning of beak of a chicken: for it is strong in both 
sexes and hooked in the upper part, generally horn- 
colored. For Hesychius* and Varinus as well as for all 
Greeks korax now means rook, now the upper part of 
the beak of chickens, surely because of the black color 
which the Greeks name as korbn: but in our roosters 
both components of the beak are almost always of the 
same color: so perhaps they understood the apices 
which sometimes tend to be black. That flesh, which 
surrounds the beak all around, some people call it 
chin, truly Columella calls it also cheek. Other 
feathers, longer than other ones, surround both 
rooster's neck and nape all around. Columella called 
these feathers by an apt word as iubae - manes. In fact 
the manes are the hair of the animals hanging down 
from the neck, in which it seems to recognize a 
certain strength of their body: whence Pliny* tells that 
the maximum of the lion 's courage can be observed when the 
mane covers the neck and the shoulders. And thus also 
roosters straighten it when they are about to fight and 
are angry, as though also among their qualities there is 
someone showing their anger and pugnacity. 

In the chicken Apicius* calls ship a certain part of 
body, prescribing that the chicken should be opened from 
the ship: I think that doubtless he calls in this way the 
chest, however without relying upon any strong 
argument, except that afterwards he is prescribing that 
a to be stuffed chicken should be opened from the 
chest. Nevertheless I know that Gabriel 
Hummelberg* interprets it as the rear belly's portion, 
being that it is hollow like a ship, and is not dissimilar 
to its shape. 



Cauda in hoc avium genere manbus maior est In this genus of birds the tail is larger in males than in 



rostrum. - Cosi riporta l'Etimologico di Cortelazzo-Zolli (Zanichelli, 1984) alia voce BECCO: Lat. beccu(m), vc. di orig. gall. {*bukko: 
di provenienza germ.?), come attesta Svetonio {cui Tolosae nato cognomen in pueritia Becco fuerat; id valet gallinacei rostrum, Vit. 18); essa ha 
soppiantato in gran parte del mondo romanzo rostru(m). 

251 La fonte di questo vocabolo e senz'altro Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 405: K6pa§, corvus, et summa 
gallinaceorum rostra, a colore nigro quern Graeci Kopov dicunt, Hesychius et Varinus. — Esiste *X>pO<5, die significa sazieta, 
stanchezza, insolenza, altezzosita, disdegno, figlio, rampollo, pollone, virgulto, ramo, coro, scopa. — Ma cerca che ti ricerca: 
finalmente si viene a capo che l'aggettivo KOpo<5 riportato daWEtymologicum Magnum* ha il significato di nero. 

252 De re rusticaVIII,5,22: Nam si pituita circumvenit oculos et iam cibos avis respuit, ferro rescinduntur genae, et coacta sub oculis 
sanies omnis exprimitur. 

253 Y) e re rustica YIII,2,9: [...] iubae deinde variae vel ex auro flavae, per colla cervicesque in umeros diffusae. 

254 Naturalis historia VIII,42: Leoni praecipua generositas tunc, cum colla armosque vestiunt iubae; [...] 

255 De re coquinaria VI,9,2: Pullum Parthicum: pullum aperies a navi et in quadrato ornas. Teres piper, ligusticum, carei modicum; 
suffunde liquamen; vino temperas. - VI,9,5: Pullum laseratum: pullum aperies a navi, lavabis, ornabis et Cumana ponis. - VI,9,14. 
Pullus farsilis: pullum sicuti liquaminatum a cervice expedies. teres piper, ligusticum, gingiber, pulpam caesam, alicam elixam, teres 
cerebellum ex iure coctum, ova confringis et commiscis, ut unum corpus efficias. liquamine temperas et oleum modice mittis, piper 
integrum, nucleos abundantes. fac impensam et imples pullum vel porcellum, ita ut laxamentum habeat. Similiter in capo facies. 
ossibus eiectis coques. — VI,9,15. <Pullus leucozomus>. accipies pullum et ornas ut supra, aperies ilium a pectore. [pullus 
leucozomus] accipiat aquam et oleum Spanum abundans. agitatur ut ex se ambulet et humorem consumat. postea, cum coctus 
fuerit, quodcumque porri remanserit inde levas. piper aspargis et inferes. 

256 La citazione suona nello stesso modo ed e tratta da Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 405: Sed Humelbergius 
partem posteriorem ventris interpretatur: qui ut navis cavus, et figurae eius non dissimilis sit. 



48 



quam faeminis: praeterea bmae illis sunt pennae 
longissimae propter tenentudinem mcurvi arcus 
imaginem prae se ferentes, quae in faeminis non 
sunt: atque lllud est, quod Albertus dicere voluit 
hisce verbis: Gallus pennas in cauda instar semicirculi 
curvat, et similiter in collo, et dorso, videlicet cum 
irascitur, aut ad pugnam sese parat. Plinius 257 etiam 
caudam falcatam in sublime engere Galium dixit. 
"Otpav 258 Hesychius, et Varinus peculialiter 
Gallinacei caudam vocant. Pennas lllas, quas 
Gallims, et Capis sagmandis sub cauda evellimus, 
quidam Germani, teste Ornithologo 259 , a tali 
actione Mastfaederen, hoc est pennas 
pmguefactorias privatim nominarunt. 

Armantur calcan mares potissimum, ut scnpsit 
Aristo teles 260 , et faeminae magna ex parte ea non 
habent. In maribus in magnam molem 
quandoque excrescunt, quales llli sunt, quos post 
depmgeremus. 



females: furthermore they have two very long feathers 
- one on each side, the main sickles -, which are not 
present in females, which because of their softness 
show the image of a curved bow: and it is what 
Albertus* wanted to say by these words: The rooster 
curves his tail feathers in a semicircle, and likewise on neck and 
back, without doubt when it gets angty and gets ready for a 
fight. Pliny said that the rooster erects on high also his 
sickle-shaped tail. Hesychius and Varinus call the 
rooster's tail specifically as otran. Those feathers which 
we pull out from under the tail in hens and capons to 
be fattened, some Germans, on witness of the 
Ornithologist, according to such a purpose they 
specifically called them Mastfaederen, that is, fattening' s 
feathers. 

Especially the males are armed with spur, as Aristotle 
wrote, and the females generally do not have them. In 
the males sometimes they grow to a great size, such as 
they are those males I shall portray later. 



Page 197 



[197] Obscurus quidam de natura rerum 
huiusmodi spicula, seu calcaria in Gallmis errore 
potius, quam opere naturae quandoque dan 
tradit: verum quamvis mihi raro Gallmas 
calcaribus praeditas {viden} <videre> contigent, 
tamen Aristo teles 261 id affirmat ita scribens: 
Gallinae cum mares licerint, cucu<r>riunt: ctistaque 
etiam, caudaque erigitur, ita ne facile praeterea sit, an 
faeminae sint, cognoscere: nonnunquam etiam calcaria 
patra iis enascuntur. Et Iulius Alexandrinus 262 , 
nescio nunquid ex propria observatione, an 
potius Aristotelis authoritate super hac re ita 
scnbit: Quid? an non Aristotelem authorem 
habemus, vidimusque partim aliquando ipsi idem 



An obscure writer on natural history says that in hens 
such spikes, or spurs, sometimes are present more 
because a mistake rather than through the agency of 
Nature: in truth, although I have rarely happened to 
see hens equipped with spurs*, nevertheless Aristotle* 
affirms such a thing when writing as follows: The hens, 
when they won the males, they crow a cock-a-doodle-doo: also 
the comb straightens up as well as the tail, so that after it is not 
easy to recognise whether they are females: sometimes also small 
spurs grow out to them. And Julius Alexandrinus*, I don't 
know whether according on his own observation or 
rather on witness of Aristotle, writes as follows: 
What? Isn't true that we have Aristotle as witness, and 
I myself have partly seen sometimes some hens, those 



257 Naturalis historia X,47: Et plebs tamen aeque superba graditur ardua cervice, cristis celsa, caelumque sola volucrum aspicit crebra, 
in sublime caudam quoque falcatam erigens. Itaque terrori sunt etiam leonibus ferarum generosissimis. - Tuttavia anche il popolo, 
ugualmente superbo, cammina a testa alta, con la cresta eretta, e [il gallo] e il solo fra gli uccelli a guardare spesso il cielo, alzando 
verso l'alto anche la coda ricurva come una falce. Pertanto incutono terrore anche ai leoni die sono i piu coraggiosi tra le fiere. 

258 La fonte assai telegrafica e Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 405: Otra, gallinacei cauda, Hesych. et Varinus. - 
Vocabolo assente nei lessici. 

259 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 405: Plumas sub cauda quae gallinis aut capis saginandis evelli solent, aliqui 
privatim nominant mastfaederen. 

260 La citazione e errata, ma la fonte e il diretto colpevole e Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 382: Calcar cum 
habeant mares, foeminae magna ex parte non habent, Aristot. - Aristotele in Historia animalium II 504b 7 dice solo che alcuni uccelli 
hanno speroni: Certi generi di uccelli hanno poi degli speroni: nessuno pero possiede contemporaneamente artigli e speroni. 
(traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

261 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 382: Calcar cum habeant mares, foeminae magna ex parte non habent, 
Aristot. Et rursus, Gallinae cum mares vicerint, cucur<r>iunt. crista etiam eis caudaque erigitur, ita, ne facile praeterea sit, an 
foeminae sint cognoscere. nonnunquam etiam calcaria parva iis enascuntur. Galli spiculis adversis in cruribus armantur. habent et 
quandoque spicula gallinae: sed hoc errore potius quam opere naturae, Obscurus de nat. rerum. Natura calcar addidit in avium 
genere iis, quae ob corporis molem sint ad volandum minus idoneae, cuiusmodi sunt galli, Aristot. - La notizia sul comportamento 
delle galline quando hanno sconfitto un maschio proviene da Aristotele Historia animalium IX 631b 8. 

262 Julius Alexandrinus, De S alubritate, XXII, 7 \Salubrium; sive de Sanitate Tuenda, libri 33, Cologne, 1575]. (Lind, 1963) 



49 



nos, Gallinas, quae maris ammum mduissent, 
experta semel de Gallis victoria, supervenire 
mares coitu solitas, irrito quidem conatu, sed 
solitas tamen: et quod dicta in pnmis nostra 
confirmat, atque author idem est, crista, 
caudaque Gallorum in morem erecta visas, tanta 
marium similitudine, ut discern ere non facile 
merit. Iisdem observatum parva quoque nata 
calcaria quaedam locis suis. Haec llle. 
Aristo teles 263 naturam arbitrator calcaria addidisse in 
avium genere Us, quae ob corporis molem sunt ad 
volandum minus idoneae. Sed haec propositio, quod 
pace tanti vin dixenm, quo minus vera sit, 
Gallopavo, Otis, ac id genus aves aliae 
ostendunt, quae licet ad volandum aeque ineptae 
sint, calcaribus nihilommus carent. Calcaria cum 
ab alns Atticis, turn potissimum ab Aristotele 
TtAfpctpa appellantur: Dorice TtAaicTpa, 
communiter icevtpa. 

Caeteras partes cum alns plensque avibus 
communes habent: Siquidem quod Plinius 264 
Gallinas probet impanbus digitis, id non de 
numero dicere voluisse viden posset, sed quod 
non debeant aeque longi esse, nisi etiam post 
subiungeret, aliquando et super quatuor digitos 
transverso uno: nam mde quinque digitos 
mtellexisse, non autem calcar lllud quod 
aliquando eis adnasci ex Aristotele diximus, 
aperte videmus: et Columella 265 etiam Gallinas 
probat, quae quinque digitos habent, ita tamen 
ne crunbus emmeant transversa calcaria. Quare 
quid de eiusmodi digitis dicam, plane ignoro: 
cum alioqui pedes {pentadactili} <pentadactyli> 
neque in avium hoc genere, nee in alio observari, 
nisi in monstns ex abundantia matenae 



who had worn the male's instinct, after they had 
experienced the victory over roosters, they were 
accustomed to mount the males in coition, in truth in 
a fruitless attempt, but however they were usually 
doing so: and in confirmation of what I said at the 
beginning, and he himself is witness, they have been 
seen with combs and tails erected like the roosters, in 
such a manner so similar to males that it wouldn't be 
easy to distinguish them - from the formers. In them 
they have been observed also small spurs grown out 
in the proper place. These are his words. Aristotle 
thinks that among the genus of birds Nature endowed with 
spurs those which because of body's si^e are less fit for flying. 
But, to speak without offending so great a man, that 
this statement is not true at all it is proved by turkey*, 
bustard* and other birds of that kind, which, 
nevertheless alike unfit for flying, in spite of this they 
lack spurs. Spurs, both by other Attica's inhabitants 
and especially by Aristotle are called plektra: in Doric* 
plaktra, usually kentra. 

They have the remaining parts in common with the 
best part of other birds: since Pliny* appreciates the 
hens with unequal toes, it could seem that he didn't 
want to make reference to their number, but that they 
don't have to be of the same length, except that just 
after he also adds: sometimes also for the presence of a toe 
arranged in a slanting direction in addition to the other four 
toes: hence, in fact, we clearly see that he meant five 
toes and not that spur which, according to Aristotle, 
we said sometimes growing out to them: and 
Columella appreciates also those hens which have five 
toes, so that however no spurs are sticking out 
trans versally from their legs. Therefore, I am at all at a 
loss what to say about such toes: since in other 
respects we see from an abundance of matter that 
five-toed feet are not observed* neither in this genus 



263 Historia animalium II 504b 7: Certi generi di uccelli hanno poi degli speroni: nessuno pero possiede contemporaneamente artigli e 
speroni. I rapaci, dotati di artigli, fanno parte dei buoni volatori, mentre gli uccelli prowisti di speroni vanno annoverati fra quelli 
pesanti. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

264 Natura/is historia X,156: Gallinarum generositas spectatur crista erecta, interim et gemina, pinnis nigris, ore rubicundo, digitis 
imparibus, aliquando et super IIII digitos traverso uno. Ad rem divinam luteo rostro pedibusque purae non videntur, ad opertanea 
sacra nigrae. Est et pumilionum genus non sterile in his, quod non in alio genere alitum, sed quibus centra, fecunditas rara et 
incubatio ovis noxia. - La buona razza delle galline si riconosce dalla cresta eretta, talvolta anche doppia, dalle penne nere, dalla 
faccia rossa, dalle dita di differente lunghezza, talvolta anche dalla presenza di un dito disposto obliquamente oltre agli altri quattro. 
Per i servizi divini non sono ritenute incontaminate quelle con becco e zampe gialli, quelle nere sono adatte per i riti misterici. Fra 
queste vi e anche una razza di galline nane non sterile, non presente in altre specie di volatili, ma le galline dotate di speroni sono 
raramente feconde e il loro covare e nocivo alle uova. 

265 Y) e re m stica VIII,2,8: Sint ergo matrices robii coloris, quadratae, pectorosae, magnis capitibus, rectis rutilisque cristulis, albis 
auribus, et sub hac specie quam amplissimae, nee paribus unguibus: generosissimaeque creduntur quae quinos habent digitos, sed 
ita ne cruribus emineant transversa calcaria. Nam quae hoc virile gerit insigne, contumax ad concubitum dedignatur admittere 
marem, raroque fecunda etiam cum incubat, calcis aculeis ova perfringit. - Le riproduttrici siano dunque di colore rossiccio, 
tarchiate, posseggano un petto largo, la testa grande, la piccola cresta dritta e rosso splendente, gli orecchioni bianchi, e sotto questo 
aspetto li abbiano quanto piu grandi possibile, e non debbono avere le dita pari: e precisamente sono ritenute molto fertili quelle 
con cinque dita, ma non debbono avere speroni che sporgano di traverso sulle zampe. Infatti, quella che porta questo segno di 
mascolinita, restia all'accoppiamento, e sdegnosa nell'accettare il maschio, ed e raramente feconda e poi quando cova rompe le uova 
con gli speroni acuminati. 



50 



videamus: qualis ille pes {penctadatilos} 
<pentadactylus> est, quern mihi olim nescio a 
quo donatum in musaeo meo reserve 

Ut vero modo quoad fieri licet breviter Galium 

nostrum describamus, itaque doctissimi Angeli 

Politiani 266 elegantissimos hosce versus prius 

citabimus. 

Comes it merito plebs caetera Regi 

Formoso regi, cui vertice purpurat alto 

{Factigiatus} <Fastigiatus> apex, duldque errore 

coruscae 

Splendescunt cenice iubae, perque aurea colla, 

Perque humeros itpulcher honos, palea ampla decenter 

Albicat ex rutilo, atque torosa in pectora pendet 

Barbarum in morem: stat adunca cuspide rostrum, 

Exiguum patii rostrum. Flagrantque tremendum 

Rati oculi, niveasque caput late explicat aur{e}is. 

Crura pilis hirsuta rigent, iu<n> cturaque nodo 

tix distante sedet, durus vestigia mucro 

Armat: in immensum, pinnaeque, hirtique lacerti 

Protenti excurrunt, duplicique horrentia vallo 

Falcatae ad Caelum tolluntur acumina caudae. 

Hactenus ille. 



Probus vero, et laudabilis Gallus esto eiusmodi. 
Corpore sit procero et elato, quales in primis 
Varro 267 laudat, in certamme sit pertinax, quin 
im<m>o qui pugnam ipse non prius auspicetur 
tantum, si pugnandum est, et aggredientibus alns 
fortiter repugnet, verumetiam acriter sese de illis 
ulciscatur, et animalia, quae nocent Gallmis, non 
modo non pertimescat, sed pro eisdem ilia 
oppugnet: alioqui Columella 268 pugnaces, et 
rixosae libidmis Gallos improbat, quod 
plerunque caeteros mfestent, et non patiantur 
inire faeminas, cum ipsi interim pluribus 



of birds nor in any other, except in monsters: like it is 
that pentadactylous foot which was given to me I 
don't know by whom and which I keep in my 
museum. 

As far as it is possible to do it, let's now describe our 
rooster shortly, and therefore I shall first quote these 
very elegant verses of very learned Angelo Poliziano*. 

The rest of common folk walks along as companion of the 

rightly king 

the handsome king, on whose head is brightly shining of crimson 

the pointed comb, and in his sweet wandering 

his shining manes glitter on his neck, and across the golden 

neck, 

and across the shoulders the wonderful beauty is spreading, the 

broad red wattle is harmoniously 

suffused with white, and it is hanging upon the brawny chest 

likewise beards: the beak stretches out with a hooked peak, 

a beak small in si^e. And glow in a terrible way 

the grey tawny eyes, and the head widely spreads out snow-white 

earlobes. 

The legs rise bristling with hair, and on the legs 

with only just wide apart articulations he roosts: a hard pike is 

arming his feet: 

the wings and the shaggy arms when pread 

enormously lengthen, and made terrible by a double fence 

the points of the sickle-shaped tail are raised towards the sky. 

Thus far his words. 

Truly, an excellent and praiseworthy cock must be as 
follows. He must be of tall and slender body, like 
those Varro* is especially praising, persistent in 
combat, even better he must be able not only to begin 
the fight if he must fight and to bravely repel the 
attackers, but also to fiercely avenge himself on them, 
and not only able in not fearing the animals harming 
hens, but to face up them in defense of his hens: on 
the other hand Columella* condemns pugnacious and 
of quarrelsome lechery roosters because they mostly 
attack the others and do not allow them to mount the 
females, while in the meantime they themselves are 



266 Angelo Poliziano, Rusticus, in Prose volgari inedite e poesie latine e greche edite e inedite di Angelo Ambrogini Poliziano (ed. by Isidoro del 
Lungo, Firenze, G. Barbera, 1867), verses 599-612, pp. 323-24. (Lind, 1963) - II Rusticus fu composto da Poliziano nel 1483-84. 

267 Rerum rusticarum 111,9,5: Gallos salaces qui animadvertunt, si sunt lacertosi, rubenti crista, rostro brevi pleno acuto, oculis ravis 
aut nigris, palea rubra subalbicanti, collo vario aut aureolo, feminibus pilosis, cruribus brevibus, unguibus longis, caudis magnis, 
frequentibus pinnis; item qui elati sunt ac vociferant saepe, in certamine pertinaces et qui animalia quae nocent gallinis non modo 
non pertimescant, sed etiam pro gallinis propugnent. - Bisogna scegliere galli lussuriosi, che si riconoscono se sono muscolosi, se 
hanno cresta rossa, becco corto, grosso e aguzzo, occhi gialli o neri, bargiglio rosso con tracce di bianco, collo screziato o color 
d'oro, cosce pelose, zampe corte, artigli lunghi, coda grande, piume folte; cosi, quelli che sono alti e cantano spesso, che sono 
resistenti nei combattimenti e che non solo non hanno paura degli animali nocivi alle galline, ma combattono anche in loro difesa. 
(traduzione di Antonio Traglia) 

268 Y)e re rustica VIII,2,14: Pumileas aves, nisi quern humilitas earum delectat, nee propter fecunditatem nee propter alium reditum 
nimium probo, tarn hercule quam nee pugnacem nee rixosae libidmis marem. Nam plerumque ceteros infestat, et non patitur inire 
feminas, cum ipse pluribus sufficere non queat. - Le galline nane, salvo che a qualcuno piacciano le loro piccole dimensioni, non le 
apprezzo eccessivamente ne per la loro fecondita ne per un qualsivoglia altro tornaconto, cosi come certamente non apprezzo un 
maschio sia esso bellicoso che di libidine rissosa. Infatti per lo piu molesta gli altri maschi e non permette loro di accoppiarsi con le 
femmine, quantunque non sia in grado di bastare a molte di loro. 



51 



sufficere nequeant. Unde et alibi dicebat 269 . 
{Mores} <Mares> autem, quamiis non ad pugnam, 
neque ad lictoriae laudem praeparentur. maxime tamen 
generosi probantur, ut sint elati, alacres, ligilaces, et ad 
saepius canendum prompti, nee qui facile terreantur. 
Nam interdum resistere debent, et protegere coniugalem 
gregem: quin attollentem minas sepentem vel aliud 
noxium animal interficere. Florentinus 

pugnacissimos eligi vult, eosque cum usu, atque 
experientia, turn signis quibusdam internosci ait: 
sed tales ob allatam a Columella rationem potius 
improbantur. 

Deliaci, qui Gallorum educationem praecipue 
celebravere, Tanagricum genus, et Rhodium 
probabant, nee minus Chalcidicum, et Medicum 
(quod ab imperito vulgo litera mutata Melicum 
appellatur) quoniam procera corpora, et aminos 
ad praelia pertinaces requirebant; author est idem 
Columella 2 ™. 



unable to be sufficient for quite a lot of hens. 
Therefore he was also saying in another point: The 
males, although they are not trained for fighting nor for the 
praise of a lictory, are nevertheless considered of first class if they 
are tall, agile, watchful and ready to crow more frequently, and 
not easily get frightened. In fact sometimes they must put up 
resistance and protect their conjugal flock, even to kill a 
threatening snake or another harmful animal. Florentinus* 
wants that should be selected those which are the 
most pugnacious, and he says that we recognize them 
by practice and by experience as well as by certain 
signs: but such subjects are rather disapproved 
because of the reason brought forward by Columella. 

The Delians*, who more than everybody usually bred 
roosters, appreciated Tanagran* and Rhodian* breeds 
as well as Chalcidian* and Median* (which with one 
changed letter is called Melian by incompetent folk) 
since they sought for tall bodies and spirits persistent 
at fighting; Columella himself is witness. 



Page 198 



[198] Hos item M. Varro 271 laudat, quod pulchri 
sint, et ad praeliandum inter se idonei, sed ad 
partus damnat, ceu alns stenliores. Rationem 
Columella 272 reijeit in corporis gravitatem, 
additque, mertes esse ad mcubandum, multoque 
magis ad excludendum, et raro foetus suos 
educare, nimirum eorum Gallinas. Et Plinius 273 
eosdem ad bella tantum, et praelia assidua nasci 
tradit, iisque etiam patnam nobilitasse Rhodum, ac 
Tanagram: secundum esse honorem habitum 
Medicis, ac Chalcidicis. Quibus itaque cordi est ea 



Also Marcus Varro* praises them because they are 
handsome and clever in fighting each other, but he 
blames them from an offspring's point of view, 
since they are more sterile than others. Columella* 
says that the reason of this is their body heaviness 
and adds that they are unsuited for incubation and 
much more for hatching eggs, and that they rarely 
rear their chicks, obviously those are their hens. 
And Pliny* says that they are born only for fights 
and frequent combats, and that thanks to them they 
ennobled also their homeland, Rhodes* and 



269 Columella De Re Rustica, VIII,2,11: Mares autem, quamvis non ad pugnam neque ad victoriae laudem praeparentur, maxime 
tamen generosi probantur, ut sint elati, alacres, vigilaces et ad saepius canendum prompti, nee qui facile terreantur. Nam interdum 
resistere debent et protegere coniugalem gregem, quin et attollentem minas serpentem vel aliud noxium animal interficere. 

270 De Re Rustica, VIII,2,4: Huius igitur villatici generis non spernendus est reditus, si adhibeatur educandi scientia, quam plerique 
Graecorum et praecipue celebravere Deliaci. Sed et hi, quoniam procera corpora et animos ad proelia pertinacis requirebant, 
praecipue Tanagricum genus et Rhodium probabant, nee minus Chalcidicum et Medicum, quod ab imperito vulgo littera mutata 
Melicum appellatur. 

271 Rerum rusticarum, 111,9,6 Nee tamen sequendum in seminio legendo Tanagricos et Melicos et Chalcidicos, qui sine dubio sunt 
pulchri et ad proeliandum inter se maxime idonei, sed ad partus sunt steriliores. 

272 De Re Rustica, VIII: (2,12-13) Talibus autem maribus quinae singulis feminae comparantur. Nam Rhodii generis aut Medici 
propter gravitatem neque patres nimis salaces nee fecundae matres, quae tamen ternae singulis maritantur. Et cum pauca ova 
posuerunt, inertes ad incubandum multoque magis ad excludendum, raro fetus suos educant. Itaque quibus cordi est ea genera 
propter corporum speciem possidere, cum exceperunt ova generosarum, vulgaribus gallinis subiciunt, ut ab his excusi pulli 
nutriantur. (2,13) Tanagrici plerumque Rhodiis et Medicis amplitudine pares non multum moribus a vernaculis distant, sicut et 
Chalcidici. Omnium tamen horum generum nothi sunt optimi pulli, quos conceptos ex peregrinis maribus nostrates ediderunt, et 
salacitatem fecunditatemque vernaculam retinent. [13] Tanagrici plerumque Rhodiis et Medicis amplitudine pares non multum 
moribus a vernaculis distant, sicut et Chalcidici. Omnium tamen horum generum nothi sunt optimi pulli, quos conceptos ex 
peregrinis maribus nostrates ediderunt, et salacitatem fecunditatemque vernaculam retinent. 

273 Natura/is historia X,48: lam ex his quidam ad bella tantum et proelia adsidua nascuntur - quibus etiam patrias nobilitarunt, 
Rhodum aut Tanagram; secundus est honos habitus Melicis et Chalcidicis -, ut plane dignae aliti tantum honoris perhibeat Romans 
purpura. 



52 



genera, inquit Columella 274 , propter corporum peciem 
possidere: cum excepemnt ova generosamm, vulgaribus 
Gallinis subijciunt, {et} <ut> ab his exclusi pulli 
{nutriuntur} <nutriantur> . Et mox omnium horum 
nothos pullos optimos esse ait, quoniam paternam 
speciem gerant, et salacitatem, foecunditatemque 
vernaculam retineant. 



Tanagra*: the second place has been obtained by 



those of Media* and Chalcis*. Columella 



says: 



Sed ut ad vernaculum genus revertamur, et ut 
omisso illo Graecorum studio, qui ferocissimum 
quemque alitem certammibus, et pugnae 
praeparabant, industnum patremfamilias 

doceamus, qui ex eo vectigal suum adaugeat: 
itaque ex eiusdem Columellae 275 et Varronis 
potissimum praescripto llli omnino authores 
sumus, ut nisi salacissimos Gallmaceos alat, atque 
in his quoque, uti {etiam} 276 in faeminis, {quibus} 
idem color, idemque unguium numerus {est}, et 
status altior. Cristas habeant sublimes, sangumeas, 
nee {oblongas} <obliquas>: oculos ravos sive 
nigros: rostrum breve, et aduncum, non autem 
acutum, ut Varro 277 praecipit: paleas ex rutilo 
albicantes, quae velut mcanae barbae dependent: 
aures maximas, candidissimasque: collum vanum, 
et aureolum: mbas varias, vel ex auro flavas, per 
colla, cervicemque in humeros diffusas; pectus 
latum, musculosum, ac lacertosum: alas 



Therefore, those who do matter to own such breeds because of 
the beauty of their bodies, when they collected the eggs of high- 
breed hens, they put them under common hens, so that the 
chicks are raised by the latter ones. And soon after he 
says that the hybrids of all these breeds are excellent 
offspring, since they carry the paternal appearance, 
and they retain the lustiness and the fecundity of 
our local breed. 

But we return to our local breed, laying aside that 
zeal of the Greeks who trained for fighting and 
combat all more aggressive birds, in order to teach 
the industrious father of family so that he may 
increase his income by the former breed: therefore 
according to the precepts of both Columella and 
Varro I quite vouch for that he should not raise 
cocks but very lustful and they must have the same 
color and the same number of toes as the females 
have, and a rather great height. They must have high 
and full-blooded combs and not inclined: grey- 
tawny or blackish eyes: a short and hooked beak, 
but not sharp as Varro advises: wattles of whitish 
red which hang like grey beards: very large and very 
white earlobes: a varicolored and rather golden 
neck: hackle must be varicolored or golden-yellow, 
spread from neck and nape until shoulders; a broad 
and brawny and robust chest: very long wings; a 
curved tail with a double row of single feathers 



274 De Re Rustica, VIII,2,12: Itaque quibus cordi est ea genera propter corporum speciem possidere, cum exceperunt ova 
generosarum, vulgaribus gallinis subiciunt, ut ab his excusi pulli nutriantur. 

275 De Re Rustica, VIII,2,9-10: [9] Gallinaceos mares nisi salacissimos habere non expedit. Atque in his quoque sicut feminis idem 
color, idem numerus unguium, status altior quaeritur; sublimes sanguineaeque nee obliquae cristae, ravidi vel nigrantes oculi, brevia 
et adunca rostra, maximae candidissimaeque aures, paleae ex rutilo albicantes, quae velut incanae barbae dependent; iubae deinde 
variae vel ex auro flavae, per colla cervicesque in umeros diffusae; [10] turn lata et musculosa pectora, lacertosaeque similes brachiis 
alae; turn procerissimae caudae duplici ordine singulis utrimque prominentibus pinnis inflexae; quin etiam vasta femina et 
frequenter horrentibus plumis hirta, robusta crura nee longa sed infestis velut sudibus nocenter armata - Non conviene avere dei 
galli se essi non sono estremamente lussuriosi. Anche loro debbono avere lo stesso colore come detto per le femmine, lo stesso 
numero di dita, ed e richiesta una statura maggiore; la loro cresta deve essere eretta e sanguigna e non inclinata, gli occhi 
giallogrigiastri o neri, becco corto e arcuato, orecchioni grandissimi e candidissimi, i bargigli rossi soffusi di bianco che pendono 
come le barbe di persone attempate; inoltre le piume della mantellina debbono essere policrome o giallo oro, sparse dal collo e dalla 
nuca fino alle spalle; [10] poi petto largo e muscoloso, ali robuste e simili a braccia; code lunghissime e ricurve con un doppio 
ordine di penne che sporgono da ambo i lati; devono anche avere cosce grosse e irte, spesso, per le piume che si rizzano; le gambe 
devono essere forti, ma non lunghe, e armate minacciosamente quasi di spunzoni pronti all'offesa. (traduzione di Rosa Calzecchi 
Onesti, adattata da Elio Corti) 

276 Questo etiam e di troppo: non e presente in Columella e neppure in Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 385-386: 
Gallinaceos mares nisi salacissimos habere non [386] expedit, atque in his quoque sicut in foeminis, idem color, idemque numerus 
unguium: status altior quaeritur, Columel. — Si eliminano anche quibus e est, altrimenti la traduzione diventerebbe impresa da 
funamboli. 

277 Rerum rusticarum 111,9,5: Gallos salaces qui animadvertunt, si sunt lacertosi, rubenti crista, rostro brevi pleno acuto, oculis ravis 
aut nigris, palea rubra subalbicanti, collo vario aut aureolo, feminibus pilosis, cruribus brevibus, unguibus longis, caudis magnis, 
frequentibus pinnis; item qui elati sunt ac vociferant saepe, in certamine pertinaces et qui animalia quae nocent gallinis non modo 
non pertimescant, sed etiam pro gallinis propugnent. - Bisogna scegliere galli lussuriosi, che si riconoscono se sono muscolosi, se 
hanno cresta rossa, becco corto, grosso e aguzzo, occhi gialli o neri, bargiglio rosso con tracce di bianco, collo screziato o color 
d'oro, cosce pelose, zampe corte, artigli lunghi, coda grande, piume folte; cosi, quelli che sono alti e cantano spesso, che sono 
resistenti nei combattimenti e che non solo non hanno paura degli animali nocivi alle galline, ma combattono anche in loro difesa. 
(traduzione di Antonio Traglia) 



53 



procenssimas; caudam duplici ordme singulis 
utrinque prominentibus pinnis inflexam: crura 
robusta, breviuscula, sed solidis spiculis egregie 
armata: ungues longos. Qui eiusmodi Galium 
na<c>tus fuent, haud dubio genus suum cohortale 
msigniter promovebit, eoque magis, si Gallinas 
etiam ad foeturam foecundissimas sibi comparet. 
Tales autem fere sunt fuscis, aut rubicundis, flavis, 
aureisque, aut etiam nigris plumis. 

Sint 278 , si fieri potest, omnes eiusmodi, sin minus, 
ab his proxime colores eligantur. Improbantur 
albae, et damnatur, quod plerunque molles sint, ac 
minus vivaces, turn ne foecundae quidem tales 
facile reperiuntur. Sunt praeterea quia candore suo 
conspicuae avium rapacium, Aquilarum, 
Accipitrum, Milvorumque praedis magis, quam 
aliae expositae. Sint igitur matrices colons probati, 
robusto corpore, ac pectore, magnis capitibus, 
rectis rutilisque cristis, et mterdum geminis, 
aunbus albis, et sub hac specie quam amplissimae, 
unguibus impanbus 279 . Generosissimae, in quit 
Columella 280 , habentur, quae quinos habent digitos, sed 
ita, ne cmribus emineant transversa calcaria; quod 
Plinius etiam testatur, cuius verba paulo ante 
citavimus, ubi nostro aevo eiusmodi Gallinas haud 
dan diximus: cur vero tales Gallinae, quibus 



stretching out on each side: robust legs, rather 
short, but perfectly armed with solid spikes: long 
toes. He who will come across such a rooster, 
without any doubt will markedly improve his 
courtyard flock, and much more if he also gets very 
prolific hens. Well, usually such hens are those 
which have dusky, or reddish, blond and golden 
feathers, or even black. 

If possible, they must be all alike, otherwise among 
them the more approaching colors must be chosen. 
The white hens are not praised and are refused 
because often they are weak and less long-living, 
and not even it is easy to find some of them prolific. 
Furthermore, being that they are visible because of 
their shining whiteness, more than other hens are 
exposed to be prey of raptors, eagles*, hawks*, and 
kites*. Therefore let the mother-hens be of a right 
color, of strong body and chest, with large heads, 
straight and shining red combs, and sometimes 
double, with white earlobes and in this respect as 
largest as possible, with odd number of toes. 
Columella says: They are considered very fertile those who 
have five toes, do not however have transverse spurs sticking 
out from their legs, a thing which is testified also by 
Pliny, whose words I quoted shortly before, when I 



278 Columella, De re rustica VIII,2,7: Parandi autem modus est ducentorum capitum, quae pastoris unius curam distendant, dum 
tamen anus sedula vel puer adhibeatur custos vagantium, ne obsidiis hominum aut insidiatorum animalium diripiantur. Mercari 
porro nisi fecundissimas aves non expedit. Eae sint rubicundae vel infuscae plumae nigrisque pinnis, ac si fieri potent, omnes huius 
et ab hoc proximi colons eligantur. Sin aliter, vitentur albae, quae fere cum sint molles ac minus vivaces, turn ne fecundae quidem 
facile reperiuntur, atque etiam conspicuae propter insigne candoris ab accipitribus et aquilis saepius abripiuntur. - La quantita da 
procurarsi e di duecento capi, i quali occupino interamente l'impegno di un solo custode, purche tuttavia venga impiegata una 
vecchia attenta oppure un fanciullo quale custode dei soggetti errabondi, affinche non vengano sottratti dalle insidie degli uomini o 
degli animali. Inoltre non conviene comperare volatili se non fecondissimi. Questi volatili debbono avere piume rosse o nerastre, e 
le penne nere, e se sara possibile vengano scelti tutti di questo colore o di un colore molto simile. Se non e possibile fare altrimenti, 
si evitino i soggetti bianchi, i quali non solo sono per lo piu deboli e meno longevi, ma neppure e facile trovarli die siano prolifici, e 
inoltre essendo visibili a causa della caratteristica del candore piu spesso vengono rapiti dagli sparvieri e dalle aquile. 

279 A proposito della pentadattilia Columella usa l'espressione nee paribus unguibus. Sia Plinio clie Varrone usano invece l'espressione 
digitis imparibus. O meglio, Varrone usa imparibus digitis, Plinio digitis imparibus, e si puo senz'altro azzardare che la fonte di Plinio fu 
Varrone. Aldrovandi, che gia aveva citato a pagina 197 un imparibus digitis tratto da Plinio, a questo punto, pur usando unguibus 
invece di digitis, sarebbe la volta che citasse Varrone. Ma non lo fa. Difficile spiegare questo scotoma di Aldrovandi nei confronti di 
Varrone, che oltretutto fu senz'altro la fonte di Plinio per quanto concerne i polli pentadattili, e la prima fonte in assoluto di questa 
peculiare mutazione genetica presente solo nel Gallus domesticus. Ecco il testo di Varrone, Kerum rusticarum 111,9,4: Qui spectat ut 
ornithoboscion perfectum habeat, scilicet genera ei tria paranda, maxime villaticas gallinas. E quis in parando eligat oportet 
fecundas, plerumque rubicunda pluma, nigris pinnis, imparibus digitis, magnis capitibus, crista erecta, amplas; hae enim ad partiones 
sunt aptiores. — Ma ancora piu difficile e spiegare il gravissimo scotoma* che Aldrovandi dimostra nei confronti delle cinque dita 
che furono esattamente raffigurate dai suoi disegnatori nei polli pedibus pennatis di pagina 312-313. Aldrovandi, nel descrivere questa 
coppia, non fa il minimo accenno alia loro pentadattilia, che oltretutto, sia dal punto di vista iconografico che genetico, corrisponde 
perfettamente a una pentadattilia duplicata. Si limita a dire che avevano le zampe gialle! 

280 Y) e re rustic VIII,2,8: Sint ergo matrices robii coloris, quadratae, pectorosae, magnis capitibus, rectis rutilisque cristulis, albis 
auribus, et sub hac specie quam amplissimae, nee paribus unguibus: generosissimaeque creduntur quae quinos habent digitos, sed 
ita ne cruribus emineant transversa calcaria. Nam quae hoc virile gerit insigne, contumax ad concubitum dedignatur admittere 
marem, raroque fecunda etiam cum incubat, calcis aculeis ova perfringit. - Le riproduttrici siano dunque di colore rossiccio, 
tarchiate, posseggano un petto largo, la testa grande, la piccola cresta dritta e rosso splendente, gli orecchioni bianchi, e sotto questo 
aspetto li abbiano quanto piu grandi possibile, e non debbono avere le dita pari: e precisamente sono ritenute molto fertili quelle 
con cinque dita, ma non debbono avere speroni che sporgano di traverso sulle zampe. Infatti, quella che porta questo segno di 
mascolinita, restia all'accoppiamento, e sdegnosa nell'accettare il maschio, ed e raramente feconda e poi quando cova rompe le uova 
con gli speroni della zampa. 



54 



nempe calcaria transversa eminent, vitentur, 
Columella rationem hanc adiungit, quod id virile 
signum sit, lllae vero ad concubitum contumaces, 
dedignentur admittere marem, raroque etiam 
foecundae smt, denique cum incubant, calcis 
aculeis ova perfri<n>gant. 

Aristoteles, Plmiusque Hadnanas in pnmis 
celebrant, quod multa admodum pariant: qua de re 
supra 281 satis superque disputatum est. Idem 
Aristoteles 282 vulgares Gallinas generosis 
foecundiores esse scnbit: corpora nempe {illis} 
<his> humidiora, {his} <illis> sicciora haberi, in 
quibus animus generosus potius consistit 283 . 
Pumiliones Gallinas etsi vetustas 284 cum propter 
alias causas improbat Columella, Plinius eas laudat, 
sed de hac re etiam ante diximus. Si vero cibi futuri 
causa eligendae smt: sunt qui lllas suavions carnis 
esse existimant, quae cibo non abunde eis 
apposito, sed quern ipsae pedibus fodientes eruant, 
non absque labore, pastae fuennt. Alii ad saginam 
aptas potissimum autumant, quae in cervice pmgui 
cute sunt. 



Ut autem in caetens ammalibus rusticis, ita in hoc 
avium genere, optimae servandae, et deteriores 
vendendae, aut mensae destinandae sunt: quod per 
autumni tempus quotannis, cum fructus earum 
cessat, commode fiet. Nostrae etiam mulierculae 
eo tempore numerum minuunt. Antiqui tunc etiam 
omnes, quae trimatum excedunt, vendi mbent. 
Addo ego nunquam habendas, quae aut parum 
foecund<a>e, aut non bonae matrices sunt: atque 
in primis quae ova vel sua, vel aliena ex<s>orbent, 



said that in our age such hens don't exist: why such 
hens with transverse spurs just sticking out should 
be avoided, Columella brings this reason: it is a sign 
of maleness, truly reluctant to mating they disdain 
to accept the male, and they are also rarely fecund, 
finally, when they incubate, they break the eggs with 
leg's spurs. 

Aristotle and Pliny especially praise Hadrianae hens 
because they lay very many eggs: on this subject I 
have discoursed more than enough in an earlier 
passage. Aristotle himself writes that common hens 
are more prolific than high-breed hens: for the body 
of these hens is more rich in fluid, that of previous 
is more dry, and in this kind - of body - preferably 
lies the trait of quality. While Columella for other 
reasons doesn't appreciate dwarf hens even though 
aged, Pliny praises them, but I have already spoken 
of this matter before. As for which ones must be 
preferred in order to turn into food: there are some 
who think to be of more delicious meat those 
nourished not with an abundantly provided food 
but with that they dig up scratching out with their 
feet and not without labor. Others claim that are 
chiefly fit to be fattened those which have a fat skin 
on their necks. 

Furthermore, as among the other country animals, 
so among this kind of birds the best ones are to be 
kept, and the worse sold or sent to the table: a thing 
which properly will happen yearly during the 
autumn season, when their profit ceases. Also our 
women reduce their number in that season. It is just 
then that also ancients suggest to sell all those hens 
more than three years old. I add that never should 
be kept those who are either not very fertile or are 
not good nurses: and fist of all those who wolf 



281 Apagina 191. 

282 De generatione animalium - Libro III-l (749b-750a): Anche gli uccelli di piccole dimensioni, come talvolta anche le piccole piante, 
sono propensi al coito e prolifici. Cio perche quello che servirebbe all'accrescimento del corpo diventa residuo seminale. Percio le 
galline di Hadria sono molto feconde: per la piccolezza del corpo l'alimento e destinato alia deposizione delle uova. E le galline 
comuni sono piu prolifiche di quelle di razza perche il loro corpo e piu umido e massiccio, mentre quello delle altre e piu magro e 
asciutto; l'aggressivita della razza si produce piu in questo tipo di corpi. Inoltre anche la sottigliezza e la debolezza delle gambe 
concorre a che la natura di questi uccelli sia propensa al coito e prolifica, come e per gli uomini: l'alimento destinato agli arti e volto 
in costoro in residuo seminale, perche cio che la natura toglie di la, aggiunge qui. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 

283 A mio awiso Aldrovandi ha scambiato di posizione illis e his, salvo voler attribuire a questi due pronomi un significato opposto a 
quello che abitualmente posseggono. Infatti in base al testo di Aristotele - tradotto da Diego Lanza - dovrebbe essere il corpo delle 
galline di razza - le cosiddette generosae - a essere piu umido, mentre il corpo delle galline vulgares dovrebbe essere piu asciutto. Se poi 
passiamo a considerare il corpo miniaturizzato delle galline di Hadria, piu piccole delle vulgares, vediamo che le prime - Mae, quelle di 
Hadria - hanno un soma quasi liofilizzato a forza di trasformare l'alimento in residuo seminale per poter deporre uova su uova. 
Insomnia, dal punto di vista sessuale e riproduttivo il concetto di Aristotele potrebbe essere reso con una massima genovese, riferita 
pero al sesso maschile: Omu pidn, tutu belin. Omu grande, tutu miiande. Cioe: Uomo piccolo, tutto pene. Uomo grande, tutto mutande. 
Mi scuso per eventuali inesattezze grafiche del dialetto genovese, che non ho mai trascritto. 

284 Qui Aldrovandi commette un errore. Infatti Columella non si e mai sognato di disapprovare anche le galline nane anziane: 
Columella disapprova le galline nane, vecchie o giovani che siano. Stando alle parole di Aldrovandi, la dis appro vazione delle galline 
nane anche se vecchie doveva essere un giudizio di Conrad Heresbach*, come riferito a pagina 192: [...]et inter nostri saeculi 
scriptores Conradus Heresbachius pumiliones, etsi vetustas cum ob infoecunditatem, turn ob alias causas improbat: [...]. 



55 



neque minus, quae, ut Gallus, cantare, atque 
calcare mcipiunt. Galli vero quandiu foeminas 
implent, retinen possunt{,} <.> Rarior enim in 
hisce avibus manti praestantia est: probantur 
tamen iuniores: nam et hoc experientia didici, cum 
trimatum excedunt, implere quidem Gallmas, sed 
ad Venerem impotentiores evadere. Sed istaec de 
externa Gallmacei generis delmeatione dicta 
sufficiant: lam videndum videtur, an ne mternas 
aliquas partes peculiares prae caeteris volucnbus 
obtineat. 



down either their own eggs or those of other hens, 
and still those who begin to crow and to mount like 
a cock. Undoubtedly the cocks may be kept as long 
as they fertilize the females. In fact in these birds 
the male's sexual fitness is rather faint: nevertheless 
the younger ones are positively judged: besides, with 
experience I learnt also what follows, that when 
they pass the age of three years they still fertilize 
hens, but become somewhat impotent as far as sex 
is concerned. But let these things be sufficient 
concerning the external traits of the gallinaceous 
genus: now it seems opportune to investigate if it 
possesses some internal parts peculiar in 
comparison to the other birds. 



Page 199 



ANATOMICA 



ANATOMICAL DETAILS 



[199] Galenus 285 Gal<l>inaceos ossium 
consistentiam, laxam, cavam, et levem habere 
testatur. IIp6Ao(3o<;, ut ait Suidas, avium ingluvies 
est, quae ab aliquibus Otjoaa dicitur. Haec autem 
in his avibus, teste Aristotele 286 ventriculo 
praeposita est. Appendices habe<n>t infra, qua 
desmunt intestina. Atque ita mtelligenda sunt 
verba Plinii 287 alioqui satis obscura. Gallinae ultra 
ventriculum habent ingluiiem. Pellicula 288 ceu cortex 



Galen* affirms that chickens have a delicate, hollow 
and light structure of bones. Pro/obos, as Suidas* 
says, is the crop of birds which by some people is 
called phyosa. Now, in these birds, according to 
Aristotle*, it is placed before the stomach. At the 
bottom they have appendices, where the intestines 
end. And the words of Pliny*, otherwise rather 
obscure, must be understood as follows: Hens have 
the crop in addition to the stomach. That membrane or 



285 Galen De Usu Vartium XL (Lind, 1963) 

286 Historia animalium II,17,508b: Gli uccelli presentano differenze, riguardo alle parti interne, sia fra se stessi sia rispetto agli altri 
animali. Alcuni presentano infatti, anteriormente alio stomaco [prima dello stomaco?], un gozzo (cosi ad esempio il gallo, il 
colomb accio, il Colombo, la pernice): il gozzo e una vasta cavita formata dalla pelle, nella quale si trova il cibo non concotto [prima 
che sia iniziato il processo digestivo] subito dopo l'ingestione. Nel punto in cui si diparte dall'esofago il gozzo e piuttosto stretto, 
poi si allarga, e si restringe di nuovo laddove sbocca nello stomaco. II piu degli uccelli hanno lo stomaco carnoso e indurito 
[stomaco muscolare o ventriglio] che presenta all'interno una pelle robusta, separabile dalla parte carnosa. (traduzione di Mario 
Vegetti) 

287 Naturalis historia XI,200: Aves quoque geminos sinus habent quaedam: unum quo mergunt recentia ut guttur, alterum in quern ex 
eo dimittunt concoctione maturata, ut gallinae, palumbes, columbae, perdices. - Alcuni uccelli hanno anche due cavita: una, nella 
quale introducono cio che hanno appena ingoiato, come lo e il gozzo, l'altra nella quale ne inviano il contenuto una volta che il 
processo digestivo e stato condotto a termine, come e il caso delle galline, dei colombacci, dei piccioni e delle pernici. 

288 II passo iniziale e ricavato dal geoponico* Berizio presente nella selezione delle opere geoponiche fatta compilare da Costantino 
VII Porfirogenito* (oggi presente in Geoponka sive Cassiani Bassi Scholastid) e possiamo arguirlo dal testo che segue tratto da Gessner. 
- Come al solito il testo di Gessner viene malamente rimaneggiato e decurtato da Aldrovandi e, cio che e peggio, viene 
personalizzato: in questo modo la serieta dell'Ornitologo rimane integra, ma non lo e altrettanto la comprensibilita dell'anatomia del 
polio. - Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 397: Pellicula ceu cortex quidam intra ventriculum gallinae stercori 
destinata, echinus ab aspritudine Graecis appellatur, et lactis coagulandi vim habet, Berytius apud Constantinum. haec vis alioqui 
propria tribuitur ruminantium adhuc lactentium ventriculis, quos et coagula nominant. Vide plura in Echino terrestri G ab initio de 
nomine huius particulae. Magna fraude medic amen tarii institores nobis imponunt, qui ex ventriculo, quo nihil in alitibus istis 
carniosus est, panniculos detractos et siccatos pro ingluvie vendunt. et haec est causa cur nemo hodie mihi cognoscatur, qui se 
feliciter in ventriculo roborando, pelliculis istis usum profiteatur: Gyb. Longolius, non ex ventriculo, sed ex primo cibi in gallinis 
receptaculo, quod stomachum et ingluviem vocat, hanc membranam decerpendam sentiens. Atqui ego veteres hanc vim non 
ingluviei aut stomacho, id est ori ventriculi galli gallinaeve, sed ipsius ventriculi, quern koilian proprie vocant, interiori membranae, 
tribuisse asseruerim. Nam et Dioscorides koilian nominat de hac membrana agens lib. 2. cap. 43. turn ab initio, turn in fine eius 
capitis, quanquam adiecta in fine a quibusdam adulterina existimantur. Et Galenus libro 11. de simplicibus post coelian, id est 
ventriculum mergi statim huius membranae meminit, intus adverbium ponens pro eo quod est in ventriculo. Uno tantum in loco 
(libro tertio Parabilium, qui Galeno falso adscribitur) galli gulam una cum larynge (scribitur autem Graece etiam gotilan) iis auxiliari 
qui strata permingunt, legimus. Tunica interior gallinarum lixivio calido hora una maceratur, ter lavatur, deinde vino ter maceratur, 
et ter lavatur: iterum lixivio, post vino, et siccatur clibano ex quo panis extractus est, Sylvius ex Bartolomaeo Montagnana. Ventris 
gallinaceorum membrana quae abiici solet, inveterata et in vino trita auribus purulentis calida infunditur, Plin. 



56 



quidam intra ventriculum gallinae stercon 
destinata, echinus 289 ab aspredme Graecis 
appellator. Huius pelliculae, cum apud Medicos in 
pnmis, turn etiam ad lac coagulandum usus est. 
Sunt qui magna fraude medicamentanos mstitores 
nobis imponere dicant, quia ex ventriculo, quo 
nihil in alitibus istis carnosius est, panniculos 
detractos, et exiccatos pro mgluvie vendant: hanc 
autem esse causam, cur nemo hodie cognoscatur, 
qui se feliciter in ventriculo roborando pelliculis 
istis usum profiteatur: inter quos Gyb. Longolius, 
non ex ventriculo, sed ex primo cibi in Gallinis 
receptaculo, quod stomac<h>um, et mgluviem 
vocat, hanc membranam decerpendam sentit. 
Atqui veteres hanc vim non mgluviei, aut 
stomacho, id est, ori ventriculi <galli gallmaeve, 
sed ipsius ventriculi, > quern koiAiocv propne 
vocant, interiori membranae tribuerunt. Nam et 
Dioscorides 290 koiAiocv nominat de hac membrana 
agens, et Galenus 291 post KoiAiav, id est, 
ventriculum Mergi, statim huius membranae 
memmit, intus adverbium ponens, pro eo, quod 
est in ventriculo. Uno tanto in loco Galli gulam 292 
(scnbitur autem Graece etiam youAav) una cum 
larynge iis auxilian, qui strata permmgunt, legimus, 
tertio nempe parabilium libro 293 , sed qui falso llli 
ascribitur. Plinius 294 etiam ventris membranam 
vocavit. Gallicum vulgus, quod tanquam parergon 
mteriectum esto, in quit Laurentius Ioubertus 295 , 
Gallinarum ventriculum, si bene memini, perie 
vocat a petns, quas patria lingua peiras dicunt: 
quoniam raro absque lapillis reperitur. 



Alexander Myndius 296 apud Athenaeum Gallinaceis 
testes sub lecore esse dixit, et revera mulierculae 
nostrae eos castraturae digitos admodum profunde 



kind of peel within the stomach of the hen and 
which is devoted to produce the excrement, because 
of its roughness is called echinus — hedgehog* - by 
Greeks. This membrane is used not only especially 
by physicians, but also for coagulating milk. There 
are those who say that drug dealers deceive us with 
a great fraud, being that they sell as crop the dried 
membranes drawn from the stomach, in 
comparison with the latter nothing in these birds is 
more fleshy: and that this is the reason why today 
no one is known stating that he successfully uses 
these membranes to strengthen the stomach: among 
these Gisbert Longolius* feels that in hens this 
membrane must be plucked off not from the 
stomach but from the first receptacle for food, 
which he calls stomach and crop. However the 
ancients attributed this power not to the crop or to 
glandular stomach, that is, to the first section of the 
stomach of rooster or hen, but to the inner 
membrane of the so properly called stomach which 
they correctly call koilian — hollow, i.e. muscular 
stomach or gizzard. For also Dioscorides* quotes 
the koilian when dealing with this membrane, and 
Galen after the koilian, i.e. the stomach of the 
merganser*, soon after he mentions this membrane, 
placing the adverb intus — inside - because it is inside 
of the stomach. Only in one point we read that the 
gullet of the cock (in fact in Greek it is also written 
goulan) together with the larynx is helpful to those 
who wet their beds with urine, and precisely in the 
third book of De remediis parabilibus, but which is 
wrongly ascribed to him. Pliny also called it 
membrane of the stomach. Laurent Joubert* says 
that common people in France, and let this be as a 
side addition, if I correctly remember, call the hens' 
stomach pern from petrae - stones, which in their 
native tongue they call peiras: since it is rarely found 
without pebbles. 

Alexander of Myndos* in Athenaeus* said that in 
roosters the testicles lie under the liver and in fact, 
when our farm women are about to castrate them, 



289 II sostantivo greco maschile echinos identifica innanzitutto il riccio di terra o porcospino - Urinaceus europaeus. In seconda istanza 
identifica anche il riccio di mare, nome comune degli Echinodermi della classe Echinoidei; agli Echinodermi appartengono anche le 
stelle di mare, le oloturie, le ofiure e i crinoidi. 

290 Dioscorides De Materia Medica (ed. by M. Wellmann, Berlin, 1906-14), II, 43. (Lind, 1963) - Kb. 2. cap. 43. (Gessner, 1555) 

291 Galen De Simplicium Medicamentorum T emperamentis et Facultatibus in Medici Graeci, XI (ed. by C. G. Kuehn, Leipzig, 1821-33); first 
Paris edition, 1530; another at Leyden, 1561. (Lind, 1963) 

292 II latino gula deriva da una radice indoeuropea che significa divorare. 

293 Galenus, De remediis parabilibus. (Gessner, 1555 - libro tertio Parabilium, qui Galeno falso adscribitur) 

294 Naturalis historialSLYiL,\?>9: Ventris gallinaceorum membrana, quae abici solet, inveterata et in vino trita auribus purulentis calida 
infunditur, [...] 

295 Laurent Joubert, Disputatio de febribus putridis; in qua tria de febribus paradoxa L. /. excutiuntur (1580); cited by Aldrovandi as In 
Apologia pro paradoxis, 7. (Lind, 1963) 

296 Deipnosophistaz IX,47, 392c. 



57 



in inflicto prope anum vulnere infigunt. Albertus 
faemmis supra caudam esse tradit, et exteriori 
parte corporis: manbus vero mtenus, ubi alns 
animalibus renes siti sunt. Plinius 297 alibi calculi 
remedia recensens, inter alia lapillorum 
quorundam meminit, qui in Gallorum vessica 
reperiuntur: quasi vero aves vesicam habeant. 
Recentiores quidam teste Ornithologo 298 , non ex 
Gallo mare, sed castrato (quern Gallmacei nomine 
impente mtelligunt 299 ) hunc lapidem haberi putant, 
et Germanice lnterpretantur, kapunenstein, hoc 
est, Capi lapidem, sed qua in parte repenatur, 
minime addunt. Forte tales lapillos Plinius 
intellexerit, quos semper in harum avium 
ventriculo repenn paulo ante diximus. 



Nos in commune {m} virorum studiosorum, atque 
maxime eorum, qui naturae arcana perscrutantur, 
aliquot Gallinas Excellentiss. M. Antonio Ulmo 
secandas exhibuimus, ut admirabile naturae in 
generandis ovis artificium mdagaremus. Is itaque 
vir praestantissimus diligentissima sectione 
naturales partes examinans, novem iconibus omnia 
in lis observatione digna complexus est: quarum 
tres subsequent pagma pictae ad uteri 
conformationem quodammodo, reliquae ad 
ovorum generationem pertinent: quas post suo 
etiam loco datun sumus. Quod ergo ad uterum 
spectat, forma ems plunmum a viviparorum 
animalium utero differt, cum hie unum duntaxat 
foramen habeat extrinsecus respiciens, alter vero 
oviparorum duplex obtineat foramen, mfernum, 
per quod ovum ad externa respiciens egreditur lam 
perfectum: alterum internum, et supermini, per 
quod ovum ingreditur lam sub septo transverso 



they stick their fingers quite deeply into the wound 
made near the anus. Albertus* says that in females - 
the ovary - is before the tail and in the peripheral 
part of the body: but in males the testicles are more 
inside, where in other animals the kidneys are 
located. Pliny in a point, checking the medicinal 
properties of a pebble, among others things he 
mentions certain stones found in the bladder of 
roosters: as if birds really had a bladder. Some more 
recent writers, according to the Ornithologist, think 
this stone is obtained not from the male rooster but 
from the castrated (which they mistakenly define by 
the name of rooster) and call it in German 
Kapunenstein, that is, capon's stone, but do not in the 
least add in which part it is found. Probably Pliny 
meant that pebbles which, as I said a short time ago, 
are always found in the stomach of these birds. 

To advantage of all students and especially of those 
who search for the secrets of Nature, I supplied the 
most excellent Marco Antonio Olmo* with some 
hens for dissection, in order to discover the 
admirable ability of Nature in generating eggs. Then 
this very excellent man, when examining the natural 
segments by a very careful dissection, included in 
nine pictures everything was worthy of remarks in 
them: three pictures, reproduced in the following 
page, in some way are dealing with belly 
conformation, the other ones with eggs generation: 
and later I shall give these pictures in their proper 
place. Then, as far as the oviduct is concerned, its 
shape differs greatly from the uterus of viviparous 
animals, since this one has only an opening facing 
outwards, the other one, i.e. that of the oviparous, 
has a duplex opening, one facing downward 
through which the already completed egg comes out 
facing outward: the other one internal and facing 



297 Plinio era ben conscio die gli uccelli non hanno vescica urinaria: Naturalis historia XI,208: Infra alvum est a priore parte vesica, 
quae nulli ova gignentium praeter testudinem, nulli nisi sanguineum pulmonem habenti, nulli pedibus carentium. inter earn et alvum 
arteria ad pubem tendentes, quae ilia appellantur. — Tuttavia in XXX,67 egli parla effettivamente di vesica dei polli e di ventriculus dei 
piccioni, ed e giocoforza dedurre che in questo caso vesica = ventriculus. "Naturalis historia XXX,66-67: Iubent et vermes terrenos bibi 
ex vino aut passo ad comminuendos calculos vel cocleas decoctas ut in suspiriosis, easdem exemptas testis III tritasque in vini 
cyatlio bibi, sequenti die II, tertio die I, ut stillicidium urinae emendent, testarum vero inanium cinerem ad calculos pellendos, item 
hydri iocur bibi vel scorpionum cinerem aut in pane sumi [vel si quis ut locusta edit], lapillos, [67] qui in gallinaceorum vesica aut in 
palumbium ventriculo inveniantur, conteri et potioni inspergi, item membranam e ventriculo gallinacei aridam vel, si recens sit, 
tostam, fimum quoque palumbinum in faba sumi contra calculos et alias difficultates vesicae, [...]. — Esatta e anche l'affermazione di 
Plinio: la testuggine — che dobbiamo intendere sia come tartaruga che come tartaruga di mare — e invece dotata di vescica urinaria: 
infatti essa e presente in tutti i Testudinati. Invece i coccodrilli — appartenenti anch'essi ai Rettili e anch'essi ova gignentes - non hanno 
vescica urinaria. 

298 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 382: Alectorias vocant gemmas in ventriculis gallinaceorum inventas 
crystallina specie, magnitudine fabarum: quibus Milonem Crotoniensem usum in certaminibus invictum fuisse videri volunt, Plinius 
37. 10. Ferunt in ventre galli alectorium, id est gallinaceum lapidem. Sed is sarda vel achate fingitur, in quo flammea macula 
appareat, nam de alectoria vero nihil comperti habeo, Cardanus. Plinius alibi inter remedia calculi, lapillorum meminit qui in 
gallorum vesica (quasi avis vesicam habeat) reperiantur. Recentiores quidam non ex gallo mare, sed castrato (quern gallinacei 
nomine imperite intelligunt) hunc lapidem haberi putant: et quidam lingua vernacula interpretatur Kapunenstein/id est caponis 
lapidem. 

299 Ne ha discusso a pagina 189. 



58 



inchoatum seu conceptum ad formam perfectam 
suscipiendam: cuius positum, substantiam, 
figuram, consensum, nunc declarabimus. 

Uteri itaque totius (mtelligimus nunc uterum 
proprie dictum, et ems extensionem) positus est in 
parte sinistra ad spmam, cum mtestina ipsa 
obtineant dextram abdominis regionem, et 
centrum. Exitus vero est in superna parte ad 
spmam desinente, cum mferiorem partem teneat 
podex ad ventrem positus. Utraque vero foramina 
cum mtestinorum turn uteri adeo in proximo sitam 
membraneam substantiam obtinentia 

coniunguntur, ut arctissime conniventia sensum 
ipsum fallere quandoque possent, ut ex subiecta 
icone videre licet. Quam rem panter adiunctae 
bmae aliae non parum etiam explicant, ut ex 
adiectis Uteris est videre. Podicis itaque atque uteri 
foramina mvicem ita, ut dictum, est, proxima cute, 
ac musculo subiecto commumter obteguntur: 
quod praeputium nymphas ex similitudme dicere 
possumus. Correspondet enim cutis haec Gallmae 
podicem, ac uteri os obtegens, cuti glandem penis 
vinlis cooperienti [201] et cutaneis faeminarum. 



upward, through which comes in the still outlined 
or fertilized egg under transverse septum, in order 
to receive its complete shape: and I shall now notify 
its position, structure, shape, relations. 

Then, the location of the entire uterus (I speak now 
of the properly called uterus and its extension) is in 
the left side near the spine, while intestinal loops 
occupy the right section and the center of the 
abdomen. Its opening is in the upper part which 
ends near the spine, while the anus, placed near the 
belly, represents the lower part. Both foramina of 
the intestine and of the oviduct, provided with a 
membranous formation located near them, are so 
joined that, closing themselves in a very tightly-shut 
way, they can sometimes deceive the sight, as one 
may see from the picture ahead. This situation is 
very well explained by two other added pictures, as 
it is possible to see from the attached captions. 
Therefore the foramina of the anus and of the 
uterus, as I said, are so close each other that they are 
covered together by the skin and the underlying 
muscle: and for similarity we can call this prepuce as 
nymphs - labia minora of the vulva. For this skin 
covering the anus and the mouth of the uterus of 
the hen corresponds to the skin which covers the 
glans of a man's penis and to the cutaneous 
formations of the females - prepuce of clitoris. 



59 



Page 200 



[200] 




A. Cutis rugosa circulans extrema. 

B. Cutis laevis, tenuis desmens in foramen. 

C. Foramen. 




AAAA. Podicis Gallmae et uteri commune 
tegumentum praeputium referens circulare. 
BB. Extremitas colli utenni. 




A. Wrinkled circular deep skin. 

B. Light, thin skin, ending at the foramen. 

C. Foramen. 



AAAA. Hen's common covering of the anus 
and of the oviduct's opening, which reminds a 
circular prepuce. 

BB. The extremity of the neck of the uterus [of 
the vagina] . 



D. The oblong crevice of the common opening. 



D. Rima oblonga exitus communis. 



60 



Page 201 



Huius cutis, vel praeputii foramen unicum 
existit, quod vulgares podicem Gallinarum 
credunt. Praeputium hoc formam habet 
sph<a>ericam, et musculum subiectum figura 
etiam sph<a>erica. Nam obtinet maiorem 
capacitatem, et cum utrumque foramen cooperin 
debeat, cutis etiam maxime erat dilatanda, cui 
maxime extensioni sph<a>erica figura est 
accom<m>oda: prominet cutis haec praeputium 
referens, vel ipsius proportionale, turgidum, 
globosum, instar papillarum apicis. Musculus 
cutem praeputii subvestiens, sph<a>encam, ut 
diximus, etiam figuram habet, cuius latitudo 
pollic{r}is existit. Fibras autem obtinuit non 
{parerellas} <parallelas>, vel aeque distantes, 
quemadmodum sphincter mtestim humani, sed a 
circumferentia ad centrum conversas, et 
diametrales: quemadmodum ex subiecta figura 
demonstrabitur. Cur vero os uteri ad spinam, vel 
supernam partem, ponatur, coitum ipsum 
causam esse opmamur. 




AA. Gallmae pudenda. 

O. Os uteri ad spinam superne. 

DDDD. Circumferentia musculi praeputium 

constringentis. 

V. Exitus intestinorum, vel podex ad ventrem 

inferne. 

EEEEE. Fibrae a circumferentia ad centrum 

pertmentes. 

Nam supergressu haec animalia coeuntia, 
instrumenta in proximo habere oportebat, quo 
facilius, et promptius mvicem coniungerentur. 
Exitus praeterea intestinorum deorsum versus 
merito vergit. Nam infra etiam {ellius} <illius> 
est officium, quemadmodum scnpsit Anstoteles, 
quod mtelligere debemus ratione ipsorum 
excrementorum ex {elementati} <elementari> 
portione terrestri ad inferiora tendentium. 



There is a single foramen of this skin, or prepuce, 
which common people believe is the anus of hens. 
This prepuce has a circular shape and has the 
underlying muscle circularly shaped too. For it has a 
larger width, and being that it must cover both 
foramina, also the skin had to widen out as much as 
possible, and the circular shape is suited for its utmost 
stretching out: this skin sticks out reminding a 
prepuce, or something analogous to it, turgid, 
globular, like tip of nipples. The muscle underlying 
the skin of the prepuce also has a circular shape, as I 
said, and is one thumb wide. But it does not have 
parallel fibers, or equidistant, as the sphincter of the 
human intestine has, but which from the 
circumference converge to the center with a radial 
direction: as it will be indicated in the picture below. 
Moreover, why the opening of the oviduct is located 
near the spine, or upper part, I think that the reason is 
the coitus itself. 



AA. External genitals of a hen. 

O. Opening of the uterus [of the vagina] located 

above near the spine. 

DDDD. Circumference of the muscle which 

constricts the prepuce. 

V. Opening of the intestine, or podex, located 

below near the belly. 

EEEEE. Fibers stretching from the periphery to 

the center. 



In fact, because of mounting each other, it was 
necessary that when mating these animals had close 
devices, so that they can join each other more easily 
and quickly. Furthermore the exit of the intestine is 
consequently slanting downwards. For its function is 
also carried on downwards, as Aristotle* wrote, and 
we have to understand it as depending from the 
excrements themselves, since they are made up by 
earth portion of the element, so they are tending 
downwards. 



61 



Substantia uteri membranea, et crassa est 
(uterum nunc propne dictum intelligo). Hoc 
enim corpus maxime omnium dilatatur, ac 
extenditur, et in ipsum recipitur ovum lam 
auctum, ac propemodum absolutum. Figura est 
concava, oblonga latior qua ad exitum pertmet, 
in longitudmem trium digitorum, caeterum 
angusta, rotundiorque mtestini tenuis formam 
repraesentans. Porrigitur enim ab infimo 
abdomine iuxta ipsorum intestinorum usque ad 
locum conceptionis ovorum sub septo 
trans verso, estque cum extenditur, longitudme 
dodrantali 300 , cuius longitudinis ratione 
membranam obtinuit a spina dorsi 
proportionalem omnino, ac persimilem 
intestinorum mesenterio, quam et venae 
frequentes percurrunt cum ad nutritionem ipsius 
uteri, turn ad ovi mtnnsecus contenti, dum 
pertransit a loco sub septo transverso ad ipsius 
uteri exitum, alitionem. Membrana autem spmae 
colligans, et connectens eadem prorsus existit 
ipsi mesenterio intestinorum, quin im<m>o 
eadem est, et substantia, et ongme: quapropter 
consensum habet uterus praesertim cum ipsis 
intestinis. 

Figura uteri maequalis, alibi angusta, oblonga, 
alibi lata, brevis: iuxta hanc varietatem vana 
quoque sortin nomina debet. Nam uteri latitudo, 
infimo abdommi proxima, et in qua ovum lam 
absolutum continetur{;} <,> est ipsemet 
uterus {,}<;> reliquum vero corpus angustum, 
oblongum, rotundum, quod ad septum 
transversum extenditur, vel uteri stomachus, vel 
uterus productus, extensusve, vel uteri gula 
nuncupan posset. Est autem membranea, et 
tenuis, admodum diversa a reliquo utero 
protenso, et a substantia ipsius uteri, qui ad 
exitum lacet. Nam finis hie membraneus subtilis, 
et pellucidus existit, ac exanguis. Intestinum 
quoque uteri ratione figurae, et quantitatis cum 
longitudme rotunditatem cavernosam habeat, 
merito diceretur, cm accedit membranae occasio 
hanc uteri extensionem, vel productionem spmae 
colligantis, quod mesenterium uterinum 
appellamus. Intermedia pars uteri, quae est illius 
portio ab utero proprie dicto, finem interiacens 
crassam obtinet substantiam, albam, lacti 
similem, et [202] in semetipsam considentem, 
cuius {mesereon} <mesenterion> multiplices 
venas habet. 



The substance of the uterus is membranous and thick 
(I am now speaking of the uterus properly so-called). 
For this anatomical formation widens out and 
stretches out more than any other, and in it is held the 
egg already increased and almost completed. Its shape 
is concave, oblong, broader where its exit is located, 
and three fingers in length, for the rest it is narrow 
and somewhat round, so reminds the shape of the 
slender intestine. For it stretches from the lowest part 
of the abdomen, near the exit of the intestine, up to 
the place where the eggs are conceived under the 
transverse septum, and it is long 3 A of foot* [around 
23 cm] when extended; but as regards to its length it 
has been provided with a membrane of proportional 
size stretching from the dorsal spine, and quite similar 
to the mesentery of the intestine, and several veins 
run through it not only for nourishment of the 
oviduct itself, but also for sustenance of the egg 
contained within it while passing from its place under 
the transverse septum to the exit of the uterus [of the 
vagina] . Afterward, the membrane joining and 
connecting it with the spine is quite similar to the 
intestinal mesentery itself, and in fact it is identical 
both as substance and origin: that is the reason why 
the oviduct has a specific connection chiefly with 
intestine itself. 

The shape of the oviduct is unequal, in one point 
narrow and oblong, elsewhere broad and short: 
depending on this variety - of shape - it must also 
receive various names. In fact the wide portion of the 
oviduct, very near the lowest part of the abdomen, 
and in which is held the egg already completed, is the 
uterus properly so-called; but the remaining narrow, 
oblong and round section, stretching toward the 
transverse septum, could be called or esophagus of 
the uterus, or lengthened as well as extended uterus, 
or throat of the uterus. Afterwards, it is membranous 
and thin, quite different from the remaining part of 
the uterus and from the substance of that part of the 
uterus which lies near the exit. For this final section is 
membranous, thin and diaphanous, and bloodless. 
Deservedly it could also be called intestine of the 
uterus as regards to its shape and extension, being 
that because of its length it has a hollow 
circumference, to which is adding the purchase of the 
membrane connecting this extension or prolongation 
of the uterus to the spine, a thing which I call 
mesentery of the uterus - dorsal ligament of the 
oviduct. The intermediate part of the oviduct - the 
magnum, which is located between the uterus properly 
so-called and its end - the upper extremity, has a 



300 p er j a s t m ttura e le dimensioni dei van tratti dell'apparato genitale della gallina secondo l'odierna terminologia anatomica si veda 

Summa Gallkana*. 



62 



substance thick, white, similar to milk, and settled in 
itself, and its mesentery has several veins. 



Page 202 



Huius substantia cocta ovi albuminis gustu 
saporem exhibet. 

SEXUS. 

Sexu tarn manifeste hocce Gallmaceum genus 
natura distinxit, ut prorsus supervacaneum 
ludicaverim, suo loco eiusmodi differentiam 
ponere. Quare et Grammatici marem Galium, 
faeminam Gallinam nominarunt, et nomen quod 
sciam nullum habent, quod utrumque genus 
complecti simul queat. Cur vero sagacissima, ac 
prudentissima in omnibus natura tarn manifestis 
signis, erecta utpote crista, iubis a cervice per 
collum dependentibus, {can da} <cauda> maiori, 
msigm ad praeliandum calcan a Gallma separare 
voluent, haud satis mihi constat. Credidenm 
tamen id ideo factum esse, quod unus multis 
faemellis sufficere debeat, easque a noxiis 
quandoque animantibus tueri. Nam eiuscemodi 
partes msignem, qualis strenuum patremfamilias 
decet, gravitatem prae se ferunt: quare etiam 
maiorem Gallmis creavit, et graviorem denique 
vocem dedit. Sed istaec alii altius perscrutari 
poterunt. 

VISUS. GUSTUS. 

Tametsi rapacium genus, et in us maxime Aquila 
caetera animantia, volucres vero potissimum 
visus acie praecellat, adeo ut nomen inde sibi 
accepisse plunmi velint 301 , Galium quidem 
nostrum non parum oculorum acumine vigere 
etiam vel inde habemus, quod rapaces aves, et 
Milvos maxime a longe a reliquis avibus 
interstinguere egregie cognoscat. Qua in parte 
fortassis etiam Aquilae praeferri debeat: quae 
sane in hoc parum Aquilmis oculis fuit, cum ad 
Aeschili celebernmi poetae: ems diei rumam, ut 



Its cooked substance, in terms of taste, shows the 
flavor of egg albumen. 

SEX 

Through the sex Nature has so clearly distinguished 
this gallinaceous genus that I would guess quite 
needless to place such a difference in a special 
paragraph. Therefore also grammarians named cock 
the male and hen the female, and have no word I 
know which at the same time can embrace both sexes. 
Truly it is not rather clear to me why Nature, very 
sagacious and skilled in all things, wished to 
distinguish - the rooster - from the hen by such 
evident traits, a very erect comb, the hackle falling 
from head along the neck, a larger tail, and a 
prominent spur for fighting. However, I should 
believe that this occurred because only one has to be 
enough for many females and sometimes to protect 
them from harmful animals. For such structures 
flaunt an outstanding authority as befits a zealous 
family father: therefore, also made him larger than 
hens and finally gave him a stronger voice. But others 
will be able to penetrate such matters more deeply. 

SIGHT - TASTE 

Although the genus of birds of prey, and among them 
especially the eagle* excels other living beings, but 
especially the birds, in keenness of sight so that many 
are affirming that she received her name from this 
fact, actually we can realize that also our rooster 
stands out not a little by keenness of sight also from 
the fact that he learns very well to distinguish from 
afar the birds of prey, and chiefly the kites*, from 
remaining birds. In this characteristic perhaps he 
should be preferred even to the eagle: since this 
characteristic at least has been lacking in the eyes of 



301 Aldrovandi accenna alia probabile origine del latino aquila da acies, che significa punta o filo di una lama, taglio affilato, e, per 
metonimia, spada e combattimento, ma che in seconda istanza significa acutezza visiva. Aldrovandi afferma che l'etimologia di 
aquila da acies sarebbe riconosciuta da moltissime persone, adeo ut nomen inde sibi accepisse plurimi velint, e possiamo aggiungere che tra 
costoro si trova anche Isidoro di Siviglia*. Ma in Ornithologia l^atina (1979) Filippo Capponi afferma senza tanti fronzoli che 
l'etimologia di aquila non e sicura, mentre l'equivalente vocabolo greco aetbs e le sue forme aietbs, aietbs, aetbs hanno il valore di uccello. 
Quindi Capponi non accenna neppure a Isidoro, che cosi si esprime in Etymologiae XII,7: Avium nomina multa a sono vocis constat 
esse conposita: ut grus, corvus, cygnus, pavo, milvus, ulula, cuculus, graculus et cetera. Varietas enim vocis eorum docuit homines 
quid nominarentur. Aquila ab acumine oculorum vocata. Tanti enim contuitus esse dicitur, ut cum super maria inmobili pinna 
feratur nee humanis pateat obtutibus, de tanta sublimitate pisciculos natare videat, ac tormenti instar descendens raptam praedam 
pinnis ad litus pertrahat. Nam et contra radium solis fertur obtutum non flectere; unde et pullos suos ungue suspensos radiis solis 
obicit, et quos viderit inmobilem tenere aciem, ut dignos genere conservat; si quos vero inflectere obtutum, quasi degeneres abicit. - 
Da acies deriva senza dubbio l'italiano acciaio, che gli antichi Latini chiamavano invece chalybs, facendo cosi riferimento a una mitica 
popolazione della costa sudorientale del Mar Nero, i Calibi - Chaljbes - famosi nella tradizione greca come i primi lavoratori del 
ferro, celebratissimi nella letteratura classica da Eschilo ad Apollonio Rodio e a Virgilio. 



63 



ferunt 302 , fatis praedictam secura Caeli fide 
caventis albicantem calvariam saxum 
{efferata 303 }, testudinem devorandam demittens, 
miserum ilium occidit, ut vel ob hanc unam 
causam Aquilae visus hebetari aliquando videri 
possit: Galium vero nostrum eo magis visu 
valere constat, quod unico tantum oculo sursum 
elevato semper rapaces aves infestissimos hostes 
suos observet, ne ex improviso, vel pullum 
aliquem, vel faemellam, aut ipsummet eripiant e 
corte, altero diligentissime mmutissima quaeque 
in locis etiam parum lucidis disquirat. 



Gustum item exquisitissimum Gallmaceus habet, 
qua in re simiae, cm alioqui omnes uno ore 
palmam attribuunt, nihil mihi cedere videtur. Illi 
enim, ut de rebus mdicet, necessanum est, ut 
dentibus suis eas pnus confnngat: noster vero 
Gallmaceus Gallus andissimum quodque, modo 
id ore recipere queat llico dnudicat, ut Iulius 
Caesar Scaliger 304 docet. 

VOX. CANTUS. 

Gallmaceus Gallus eandem fere semper nobis 
vocem occinit: sed qui animosiores sunt, 
graviorem edunt, teste Aristotele 305 , mcipiunt 



an eagle, when <the bird of prey>, dropping a 
tortoise, she wished to devour, against the whitening 
skull of the very famous poet Aeschylus* <she took 
for> a stone, who, as they tell, was seeking for avoid a 
ruinous breakdown which had been predicted him by 
oracles because of a sure faith in open air, killed that 
unhappy, so that because of this one reason it could 
seem that at times the eagle's sight is getting dim: on 
the contrary it turns out that our rooster is of keener 
vision because with only one eye turned upward is 
always able to catch sight of birds of prey which are 
his most deadly enemies, lest unexpectedly they 
snatch away either a chick or a female or him himself 
out of the poultry yard, while with the other eye he 
most attentively examines all very small things laying 
in even not much lighted places. 

Likewise the rooster has an excellent sense of taste, a 
thing in which it does not seem to me that he is 
inferior to the monkey, to whom otherwise everybody 
unanimously attributes the palm. For, in order to 
judge the stuff, she needs first to break it with her 
teeth: on the contrary our rooster suddenly gives an 
opinion on any more dried thing, if only he can seize 
it with his 
teaching. 



mouth, as Julius Caesar Scaliger* is 



VOICE - SINGING 

The rooster is nearly always playing to us the same 
voice: but those who are more courageous utter it 
more loud, as Aristotle* testifies, and they begin to 



302 Filippo Capponi (Ornithologia Eatina, 1979) dopo un'accurata disamina conclude clie l'aquila di Eschilo con ogni probability era 
un esemplare di Aquila danga o Aquila anatraia maggiore. Invece D'Arcy Thompson (A Glossary of Greek Birds, 1895), indotto dal 
testo di Suida, concluderebbe per il Gypaetus barbatus o Awoltoio degli agnelli, e infatti nell'antico raggruppamento degli Aquilidi il 
Gypaetus barbatus era considerato un' Aquila vera e propria. Ma la tesi di Capponi sembrerebbe vincente. - L'episodio della morte di 
Eschilo e citata da Plinio, Naturalis historia X,7: Huius ingenium est et testudines raptas frangere e sublimi iaciendo, quae fors 
interemit poetam Aeschylum, praedictam fatis, ut ferunt, eius diei ruinam secura caeli fide caventem. - E comportamento istintivo 
di questo uccello frantumare le tartarughe rapite gettandole dall'alto, ed e questo incidente die uccise il poeta Eschilo, il quale, come 
narrano, standosene sicuro all'aria aperta, cercava di evitare un crollo rovinoso predettogli dagli oracoli per quel giorno." Anche 
Valerio Massimo* ha narrato il tragico episodio, col particolare dell' aquila che scambio la testa calva di Eschilo per una pietra e vi 
lascio cadere sopra la tartaruga. Ecco il brano di Valerio Massimo tratto da Factorum et didorum memorabilium libri novem, IX 12 ext. 2: 
Aeschyli vero poetae excessus quern ad modum non voluntarius, sic propter novitatem casus referendus. In Sicilia moenibus urbis, 
in qua morabatur, egressus aprico in loco resedit. Super quern aquila testudinem ferens elusa splendore capitis - erat enim capillis 
vacuum - perinde atque lapidi earn inlisit, ut fractae carne vesceretur, eoque ictu origo et principium fortioris tragoediae extinctum 
est. 

303 Si tratta certamente di un errore di Aldrovandi. Ne Plinio ne Valerio Massimo hanno questo aggettivo che significa inferocito, 
inasprito (potrebbe essere predicativo di aquila, sottinteso "quando <il rapace>, inferocito, gettando giu..."). 

304 Nella nota a bordo pagina Aldrovandi cita come fonte la Exercitatio 266 contenuta in Exotericarum exerdtationum liber quintus 
dedmus: de subtilitate, ad Eiieronymum Cardanum (1557) di Giulio Cesare Scaligero. Questa exercitatio — nel testo originale di Scaligero del 
1557 - reca il titolo Quae de nomine imponendo, <& de suo nomine faceta, ma non vi ricorre assolutamente il gallo. La dritta per localizzare il 
brano di Scaligero in cui si decanta l'eccellenza del senso del gusto dei gallinacei viene dall'indice analitico della sua opera: gallinae 
gustus praesentaneus 286.2 — il gusto immediato della gallina. Infatti la exerdtatio 286 (An pueri maxime vigeant sensibus) reca come titolo 
del paragrafo 2 De sensu exquisito subtilissima, e in questa sezione troviamo la gallina, che a differenza dell'essere umano non ha 
bisogno di masticare per percepire il gusto di un cibo. Ecco il testo di Scaligero. Gallina crassissimum, aridissimum quodque 
receptum ore illico diiudicat: Homo non nisi mansa. {Exerdtatio 286,2) § Lind invece nella nota a pie pagina cita pedissequamente 
266 come stampato dalla tipografia di cui purtroppo si servi il nostro Ulisse, aggiungendovi del suo: Julius Caesar Scaliger 
Exerdtationum liber quintus dedmus de Subtilitate, ad El. Cardanum (Paris. Lutetiae, 1557), 266. (Lind, 1963) 

305 Pseudo Aristotele Physiognomonica, 807a 20: ton alektryonon oi eypsychoi baryphona phtheggontai. 



64 



autem cantum, quum {msilere} <msilire> 
Gallmas incipiunt. Gallma vero pro varus 
actionibus vocem immutat. Aliam enim lens, 
aliam partunens, aliam pullos enutnens edit: 
alioqui et ilia gracillare dicitur{;} <,> Gallus 
cucu<r>rire, unde Philomelae author 306 . 
Cucu<r>rire solet Gallus, Gallina gracillat. 

Gaza, quoque apud Anstotelem 307 pro 
KOKKij^eiv, qua voce Demosth<enes> pro Galli 
voce etiam usus est, cucu<r>nre vertit. 
Pollux 308 , et Scholiastes Aristophanis 309 Cuculo 
propriam earn vocem esse asserunt. Unde 
coccyssare, inquit Caelius, id est icoKKu^eiv 
verbum habent Graeci {fictitium} <ficticium> 
ex Gallmacei voce, et Coccygis. Alibi tamen 
Scholiastes, cum Aristophanes 310 de Gallo 
dixisset oTtotocv jiovov opBpiov qtar), addit, 
KOKKtitJeiv enim turn proprie dititur Gallus, cum parta 
victoria canit, et Varinus icokkij^oo vertit, instar 
Gallinacei clamo. In qua item significatione 
Theocritus 311 usus est dum canit: 6 8'6p6pioq 
ocAAov dcAeieroop kokktjoScov vdpiccuaiv etc. 
Item Cratinus 312 apud Eustathium 313 KOKKtitJeiv, 
inquit tov dAeKTpuova ouk hvijovxox: qui et 
hoc Platonis Comici 314 citat 2e 8e kokkij^eiv 
dAeKTcop TtpoicaAevtou. 



sing when are about to mount the hens. But the hen 
changes the voice according to various activities. She 
utters a kind of voice when strolling about, another 
one when laying, another when rearing chicks: on the 
other hand she is also said to cluck, and that the 
rooster utters a cock-a-doodle-doo, whence the 
author of Philomela* says: 
The rooster usually does a cock-a-doodle-doo, the hen clucks. 

Theodorus Gaza* also in Aristotle translates kokky^ein 
with cucurrire - to do a cock-a-doodle-doo, a word used 
also by Demosthenes* to indicate the rooster's voice. 
Julius Pollux* and the scholiast* of Aristophanes* 
assert that that voice is peculiar to cuckoo. Whence in 
coccyssare, says Lodovico Ricchieri*, that is kokky^ein, 
the Greeks have an onomatopoeic verb drawn from 
the voice of the rooster and cuckoo. However the 
scholiast elsewhere, being that Aristophanes said 

hopotan monon orthrion dfe l - when he is singing early in the 
morning, is adding then it is properly said that a rooster 
kokky^ein when he sings after he attained a victory, and 
Varinus* translates kokky^p with I cackle like a cock. 
Likewise Theocritus* used it with this meaning when 
he was singing: o d'orthrios dllon alektor kokkysdon 
ndrkaisin — on the other hand the early-rising rooster crowing to 
those who are asleep etc. Likewise Cratinus*, according to 
Eustathius*, says kokky^ein ton alekttyona ouk anechontai 
- they do not endure the crowing of the cock: who also quotes 
this passage of Plato Comicus* Se de kokky^ein alektor 
prokakitai - The rooster invites you to crow. 



Page 203 



Denique in hoc vulgato proverbio [203] "Otav 
Ni[3aq KOKKuar) 315 , hoc est, cum Nibas 
coc<c>yssaverit 316 : id verbum de Galli voce, 
non autem de Cuculi dicitur. Tradunt enim in 
Thessalonica Macedoniae civitate, ut supra 317 
etiam annotavimus, vicum esse, cui nomen 
Nibas, ubi Galli nunquam vocem edant. Hinc 
merito KOKKo[36aq opviq, et 6p6pioKOKKu| 



Finally, in this common proverb Hdtan Nibas ,*,„,. ,, ,,, , 
that is, when Nibas will have crowed: the verb is 
referring to the voice of the cock and not of the 
cuckoo. In fact, as I noted above, they say that in the 
Macedonian* city of Thessalonica* there is a village 
named Nibas where the roosters never crow. Hence 
deservedly by Hesychius* and Varinus* the rooster is 
called kokkoboas ornis - kokky = cuckoo, the voice of the 



306 Auctor Carminis Philomela 25; A. Baehrens, Poetae Latini MinoresV (1883), 365. (Lind, 1963) 

307 Historia animalium 631b 9. 

308 Pollux Onomasticon 5. 89. (Lind, 1963) 

309 Cfr. Aristofane, Le ram 1380; Le donne a parlamento o Ecclesia^use 31. 

310 Gli uccelli 489. 

311 Idilli VII 123-124 

312 Cratinus Fragment 3 1 1 , in Comicorum Atticorum Fragmenta (ed. by T. Kock, 3 vols., Leipzig, 1880-88). (Lind, 1963) 

313 ad Odysseam IV 10, p. 1479, 42-48. 

314 Plato Comicus, Fragment 209, in Kock, op. tit, I, 601. (Lind, 1963) 

315 Corpus Paroemiographorum Graecorum II (1851), 573. (Lind, 1963) 

316 A pagina 273 viene riportato coayssaverit. 

317 A pagina 193. 



65 



Gallus Hesychio 318 , et Varino dicitur. Haud 
tamen interim nego Cuculo earn vocem 
convenire: siquidem suo loco id alias ostendi. 

"AiSeiv verbum de Gallinaceorum voce privatim 
usurpan scnbunt Pollux, et Eustathius 319 . 
Gallmas gracillare diximus, alii pipare dicunt, 
Nonius pipare lllis propnum esse, Varro 
Aborigimbus, ut idem Nonius 320 citat, Bos, mquit, 
mugit, Gallina pipat: et rursus 321 : Varro, mquit, 
pullos pipare dixit. Sed pullos Gallmaceos, et 
eiusmodi alios propne pipire Columella 322 ait, 
sed pipare forte pnsci dixerint. Nam apud 
Festum 323 legimus pipationem Oscorum lingua 
clamorem plorantis vocan. Dum incubant 
Gallmae, vocem mutant propter affectum 
pullorum, tunc enim acutior evadit. Eas rustici, 
teste Columella 324 glocientes appellant: Longolius 
crocitantes, Festus etiam glocire, et glocidare 
proprium Gallims esse ait, quae mcubaturae 
sunt. Hebraei, ut in syrochaldaico dictionario 
legere est 31^3 ghelogh dicunt. 



KaKKa^eiv 325 vero dicuntur circa partum teste 
Hesychio, et Varino, et verbum est Atticum, cm 
simile est Germanorum gaggsen. Has 
Politianus 326 , et Longolius singultire aiunt 327 . 
Pollux 328 vero hoc verbum de Meleagridum voce 



cuckoo + bode — to bawl - and orthriokdkkyx - crowing 
at dawn. Nevertheless in the meantime I do not deny 
absolutely that that term fits the cuckoo: in fact 
indeed I have said this at its proper place. 

Julius Pollux* and Eustathius* write that the verb 
dflein - to sing - is specifically used for the singing of 
the roosters. I said that hens cluck, others say that 
they chirp, Nonius Marcellus* says that chirping is a 
characteristic of them, Varro*, in the Menippean* 
satire Aborigines peri anthrop§n physeos, as Nonius 
himself quotes, says The ox lows, the hen chips: and 
Nonius newly says: Vanv said that chicks chip. But 
Columella* says that the chicks of chickens, and 
others of the same sort, properly peep, pipire, but 
perhaps the ancients said pipare. In fact in Festus* we 
read that in the Oscan* language is said pipatio the 
moan of a crying person. While hens are sitting on 
eggs they change their voice because of their affection 
for chicks, since then it becomes shriller. According 
to Columella, the farmers call them as clucking: 
Longolius* says they croak, also Festus says that glocire 
and glocidare is proper to hens when they are about to 
incubate eggs. The Hebrews, as one may read in the 
Syro-Chaldaic dictionary, say ghelogh. 



Hesychius and Varinus testify, the hens kakkd^ein 
cackle, to cluck, to do the voice of partridge* 



to 
or of 

little owl* - when are about to lay eggs, which is a 
verb of Attica*, similar to gaggsen - today gager^en - of 
Germans. Poliziano* and Longolius say that they sob. 



318 Sembra invece trattarsi di Eustazio, dove kokkoboas e attribuito a Sofocle* e orthriokokkux a Difilo (commediografo greco del IV 
sec. aC che visse soprattutto ad Atene e scrisse commedie secondo la nuova tendenza del teatro alessandrino (commedia nuova). 
Del centinaio di opere sue non abbiamo che frammenti.). 

319 La fonte di questa irreperibile citazione e rappresentata da Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 406: Adein 
verbum de gallinaceorum voce privatim usurpatur, Pollux et Eustathius. 

320 De compendiosa doctrina 156,25. — L'edizione di Parma nel 1480 riporta: PIPARE proprie gallinae dicuntur. Varro in aboriginibus. 
Mugit bos: ovis balat: equi hinniunt: gallina pipat. - www.intratext.com riporta: mugit bovis, ovis balat, equi hinniunt, gallina pipat. 

321 Citazione sospetta. - La fonte potrebbe essere Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 415: Pipare proprie gallinae 
dicuntur, Nonius, Bos mugit, gallina pipat, Varro Aboriginibus citante Nonio. Varro pullos pipare dixit, Nonius. — La ricerca alia 
voce PIPARE nell'edizione della Compendiosa doctrina di Nonio Marcello stampata a Parma nel 1480 e negativa per l'affermazione di 
Varrone circa il fatto che i pulcini pipant. Inoltre, alia voce PULLUS del capitolo DE GENERE VEL COLORE VESTIMENTORUM non 
viene citato pipare. 

322 Sia pipare che pipiare nonche pipire significano pigolare. Nell'edizione del De re rustica di Columella a mia disposizione viene usato 
il verbo pipare: VIII,5,14: [...] undevicesimo animadvertat an pulli rostellis ova pertuderint, et auscultetur si pipant. - La maggior 
parte degli editori riporta si pipiant. 

323 Paulus Diaconus* ex Festo = Paulus ex Festo, pag. 99 Miiller: pipatio clamor plorantis lingua Oscorum. 

324 De re rustica - VIII,5,4: Observare itaque dum edant ova et confestim circumire oportebit cubilia, ut quae nata sunt recolligantur, 
notenturque quae quoque die sunt edita, et quam recentissima supponantur gluttientibus (sic enim rustici appellant avis eas quae 
volunt incubare), cetera vel reponantur vel aere mutentur. 

325 Kakkd^ein si ritrova unicamente in Esichio ed equivale a kakkabi^ein usato dagli scrittori attici. 

326 Rusticus. Vocibus interea crebrum singultit acutis |parturiens coniunx. 

327 Columella ricorre al sostantivo singultus, De re rustica VIII,5,3: Adsiduus autem debet esse custos et speculari parientes, quod se 
facere gallinae testantur crebris singultibus interiecta voce acuta. 

328 La fonte di questa irreperibile citazione e rappresentata da Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 454: Pollux hoc 
verbum de Meleagridum voce in usu esse scribit. 



66 



in usu esse scnbit. Qua de causa quaent 
Pamphilus in dialogo Gyb. Longolii 329 , cur 
Gallina canturit, officmam cortalem petens. 
LONG. Non canturit, sed singultit. Hoc enim 
verbo Varro vocem Gallmarum {fractum} 
<fractam> 330 , et intra {rostra} < rostrum > 
formatam imitatur. Rusticorum gens Columellae 
tempore glocire maluit dicere. PAMP. Gallus 
etiam submde {subgultit} <singultit>. LONG. 
Recte, sed cum cantat cucu<r>nre dicitur 
Latin e, Graece autem kokkij^eiv. Haec 
Longolius; sed Columella, ut diximus, rusticos 
suo tempore glocientes vocasse scribit, quae 
incubant, quas, servato ad hue nomine, rustici 
Itali Chioccias vocant, nimirum a voce, et Beige, 
et audio Klok hennen. Recte vero Galium, cum 
canit, cucurnre dixit. 

Gallina etiam, cum earn est initurus Gallus, 
vocem format exilem, atque mancam. Hoc 
suadet experientia, si quis ammadvertat, 
Gallmam a Gallo subsidere ad coitum 
patiendum, tunc enim earn is rostro ferit, qua 
desinit 331 collum, sed leviter nonnunquam, quod 
mordere vocabat Iuvenalis 332 , qui simul eiusmodi 
Gallmae vocem angustam appellat, dum inquit: 
Miratur vocem angustam, qua detenus nee 
Ille sonat, {qua} <quo> mordetur Gallina marito{.}<?> 

Arbitror ego id generis vocem conformari ab ea 
Gallina, quotiescunque coitum aut mvita patitur, 
aut Galium non aeque redamat: nam hoc 
exemplo Satyncus 333 masculorum illorum vocem, 



But Julius Pollux writes that this verb is used for the 
voice of Guinea hens*. Therefore Pamphilus* in the 
dialogue of Gisbert Longolius asks why the hen sings 
softly when she goes towards the barnyard workshop. 
LONG. She does not sing softly, but sobs. For with 
this verb Varro imitates the broken voice of the hens 
and formed within the beak. The farmers of 
Columella's day preferred to say glocire. PAMPH. Then 
also the rooster sobs. LONG. Correct, but when he 
crows it is said cucurrire in Latin and kokky^ein in 
Greek. This is what Longolius says; but Columella, as 
I said, writes that the farmers in his time called 
clucking those who are brooding, and the Italian 
farmers, the term having been kept until now, call 
them chiocce, doubtless from their voice, and I hear 
also klok hennen in Belgian language. But he correctly 
said cucurrire when the rooster is crowing. 

The hen also utters a shrill and faint voice when the 
rooster is about to mount her. Experience teaches us 
what follows: if one observes a hen crouched down 
by a rooster to undergo the coitus, he then strikes her 
with his beak where the neck ends - where the neck 
begins, at the nape -, but sometimes softly, which 
Juvenal* called to bite, who at the same time calls the 
voice of such a hen as thin, when he says: 

He is surprised at the thin voice, worse than which 
not even he shouts when the hen is bitten by her husband? 

I do think that a voice of this kind is worked out by 
the hen whenever she must undergo the coitus 
unwillingly or when she does not equally reciprocate 
the rooster's affection: in fact the satiric poet — 



329 Dialogus de avibus (1544) pag. 23-24: PAMPHILUS. Qua de causa haec gallina canturit, [24] officinam cortalem petens? LONGOLIUS. 
Non canturit, sed singultit, hoc enim verbo Varro vocem gallinarum fractam, et intra rostrum formatam imitatur. Rusticorum gens 
Columellae tempore glocire maluit dicere. PAMPHILUS. Gallus etiam subinde singultit. LONGOLIUS. Recte, sed cum cantat, cucurrire 
dicitur Latine, Graece autem ICOKKtii^SlV. 

330 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 454: Longolius, Non canturit, sed singultit. Hoc enim verbo Varro vocem 
gallinarum fractam, et intra rostrum formatam imitatur. Rusticorum gens Columellae tempore glocire maluit dicere. Pamphilus, 
Gallus etiam subinde singultit. Longolius. Recte. sed cum cantat cucu<r>rire dicitur Latine, Graece autem KOKKtJi^SlV. — Gisbert 
Longolius Dialogus de avibus (1544) pag. 24: LON. Non canturit, sed singultit, hoc enim verbo Varro vocem gallinarum fractam, et 
intra rostrum formatam imitatur. Rusticorum gens Columellae tempore glocire maluit dicere. PAMP. Gallus etiam subinde singultit. 
LON. Recte, sed cum cantat, cucurrire dicitur Latine, Graece autem ICOKIOji^SlV. 

331 Si tratta di un errore di Aldrovandi, il quale verosimilmente non ha mai osservato come certe galline presentino una chierica* alia 
nuca a forza di essere montate dal gallo, il quale per mantenersi in equilibrio - e per dire alia gallina che chi comanda e lui - afferra 
col becco le piume della nuca, che coi ripetuti accoppiamenti vengono via via decimate. Con estrema verosimiglianza ai tempi di 
Aldrovandi per qualunque persona l'inizio del collo corrispondeva al punto in cui esso si stacca dalla testa e non dove si impianta 
sul torace. La riprova l'abbiamo da numerosi passi che dimostrano questa tesi. I passi sono a pagina 336 - qua se attollit in directum 
in summo collo ad occipitium -, a pagina 338 - sed qui in anteriori parte reflectuntur a prima vertebra, aut osse colli — e - Cum 
Pavonibus etiam hoc illis commune est, ut colli principium sit gracile. — Ho potuto osservare la tonsura alia nuca di origine sessuale 
anche in una femmina di germano reale nano che era l'unica partner in compagnia di quattro maschi, uno dei quali a un certo punto 
e stato preso sessualmente di mira dagli altri maschi, tanto da vivere appartato per alcuni mesi, concedendosi di entrare nel laghetto 
solo in mia presenza in quanto si sentiva protetto dagli assalti dei compagni. 

332 Satira III, 90-91: miratur vocem angustam, qua deterius nee | ille sonat quo mordetur gallina marito? 

333 Aldrovandi forse fa riferimento a Giovenale, il poeta satirico, ma nella quarta Satira non esiste alcuna allusione a quanto sta 
citando. Forse ha ragione Lind, il quale afferma: Aldrovandi refers to Juvenal, apparently, in the "words "nam hoc exemplo Satyricus 
masculorum illorum vocem, qui Venerem damnatam patiuntur, de quibus loquitur in 4 superiore oratione, " but I cannot locate the reference. 



67 



qui Venerem damnatam patiuntur, de quibus 
loquitur in 4 supenore oratione. Licet vero 
Gallmae ita pro varus actionibus, ut dixi vocem 
immutent, nulla tamen cantus nomine digna 
videtur. Siquidem Aristo teles 334 in hoc avium 
genere cantum maribus tantum datum esse 
testatur, auditur tamen, inquit, aliquando faeminae 
cantus, et afaeminarum vulgo pro malo omine acdpitur, 
adeo ut canentem iugulari velint. Et Terentius 335 pro 
ostento duci testis est, si Gallina cecinerit: inter 
monstra enim et hoc memorat: Gallina 
cecinit{,}<;> interdixit <h>ariolus. Quo loco 
Donatus 336 exponit obstetricum esse 
observationem, in qua domo Gallina canat 337 . 



Galli vero cantus aAeKTopocpoovia Graecis 
dicitur, uti et tempus, quo canere mcipit. 
Disputant nonnulli, an eiusmodi cantus inter 
euphonos, an potius inter dysphonos sit 
enumerandus. Angelus Politianus 338 refert Picum 
Baptistae Guanni nomine quaesivisse, cum 
Gallus {intenpestivum} <mtempestivus> 
caneret, quo pacto lllud vocis a Graecis 



defines - with this example the voice of those males 
who are forced to undergo a intercourse, of whom he 
speaks in the previous - ? - fourth composition. But 
while hens, as I said, change to such an extent the 
voice according to various activities, nevertheless 
none of them seems to be worthy of song's name. 
Since Aristotle* asserts that in this genus of birds the 
song is ascribed only to males, and he says: nevertheless 
sometimes the song of the female is heard, and by women of 
common people it is taken as a bad omen, to such a degree that 
they wish the throat of a singing one is slit. Also Terence* is 
witness that when a hen sang was considered a 
portent: for among prodigies he mentions also this: 
The hen sang; the soothsayer has forbidden. With regard to 
that, Aelius Donatus* reports that there is existing a 
distrust by midwives in the home where a hen songs. 

But the rooster's crow is said alektorophenia by Greeks, 
as is also said the time at which he begins to crow. 
Some dispute whether a song of this kind is to be 
numbered among euphonious or among cacophonous 
sounds. Angelo Poliziano says that Giovanni Pico 
della Mirandola* on behalf of Battista Guanni asked 
him in what way was said by Greeks that kind of 
voice when a cock is crowing out of time. Because 



However, see X, 209-210: "Venerem damnum." This may be "what he means. (Lind, 1963) Ecco i versi 207-212 della Satira X 

dove si accenna al dissoluto che vuole avere il piacere senza possederne la forza: Anne aliquid sperare potest haec inguinis 
aegri | canities? Quid quod merito suspecta libido est | quae venerem adfectat sine viribus? Aspice partis | nunc damnum alterius. 
Nam quae cantante voluptas, | sit licet eximius, citharoedo sive Seleuco | et quibus aurata mos est fulgere lacerna? — Conrad Gessner 
stavolta non ci puo aiutare. Nel suo testo non esiste questa enigmatica citazione di Aldrovandi. 

334 Impossibile trovare questo frammento di Aristotele come indicato da Aldrovandi: Historic! animalium Lib. 8. c. 3. Gli ultimi due libri 
della Historia animalium - cioe il IX e il X libro - non sono autentici, e quindi non furono scritti da Aristotele: si tratterebbe di una 
raccolta di estratti, soprattutto teofrastei, compilata all'inizio del III secolo aC. Per cui Vegetti (il traduttore) non fornisce il testo 
integrale del IX libro, bensi un riassunto del capitolo 49 del IX libro che suona cosi: "Come il comportamento degli animali e 
adeguato al loro carattere, cosi, reciprocamente, il carattere degli animali varia secondo i loro comportamenti e spesso variano anche 
le loro parti. Cosi la gallina se ha battuto il maschio imita il canto del gallo, cerca di montarlo e la sua coda e la sua cresta si 
drizzano. Reciprocamente, i galli che hanno perduto la femmina si occupano della prole e perdono i loro caratteri maschili." Quindi 
nel libro IX si parla solamente delle galline che cantano quando hanno battuto un gallo, e non ricevono minacce di morte. Invece il 
fatto puro e semplice che le galline non cantano (quindi senza alcun accenno alia minaccia di venir sgozzate qualora cantassero) e 
contenuto in Historia animalium IV, 536a - "Alcuni lanciano grida mentre combattono, come la quaglia, altri a mo' di sfida prima del 
combattimento, come la pernice, altri ancora dopo la vittoria, come i galli. In certi gruppi di uccelli, i maschi cantano al pari delle 
femmine: per esempio cantano sia l'usignolo maschio sia la femmina, ma quest'ultima cessa di cantare quando cova e ha i suoi 
piccoli. In altri gruppi sono soprattutto i maschi a cantare, come ad esempio i galli e le quaglie, mentre le femmine non cantano." 
(traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

335 ferenzio, Phormio atto IV,708. - 705-710: "quot res postilla monstra evenerunt mihi! |intro iit in aedis ater alienus canis; | anguis 
per inpluvium decidit de tegulis; | gallina cecinit; interdixit hariolus; | haruspex vetuit; ante brumam autem novi|negoti incipere!" 
quae causast iustissima. 

336 ad Terentium, Phormio 708. 

337 Verosimilmente la notizia riferita da Elio Donato si contrappone al significato di buon auspicio rappresentata da un gallo 
accanto a una partoriente. Infatti Eliano* in La natura degli animali IV,29 cosi scrive: "So che il gallo e l'uccello favorito da Leto* [la 
romana Latona, madre di Apollo e Artemide, nati sull'isola di Delo]. II motivo e dovuto al fatto che esso assisteva la dea quando, 
presa dalle doglie, partori felicemente i suoi due gemelli. Per questa ragione anche adesso viene posto un gallo accanto a una 
partoriente e sembra che cio giovi a un felice evento." (traduzione di Francesco Maspero) 

338 Angelo Poliziano in una lettera del luglio 1494 a Battista Guarini (VII 33 del suo epistolario) riferisce che Pico della Mirandola 
gli ha chiesto in quale modo i Greci definiscono "il verso del gallo, quando canta fuori dal tempo". E aggiunge che Giovenale e 
Quintiliano ne fanno menzione. Da parte sua Poliziano comunica al Guarini che il termine greco e senz'altro apo/ios, da lui trovato 
in autori importanti (per esempio Luciano* Lexiphanes 6, De saltatione 75, Icaromenippus 17; Apollonio Discolo* Syntaxis 307,14). - Per 
Quintiliano vedi Institutio oratoria^KI 3,51: gallorum immaturo cantu. - Per Giovenale forse si tratta della Satira IX 107: quod tamen 
ad cantum galli facit ille secundi. 



68 



diceretur. Etenim Iuvenalis meminit ems, et 
Quintilianus. Ego certe, in quit, mi Baptista, non 
aliud puto, quam quod aliquando reperi apud 
idoneos &7tco86v, quanquam mihi authores iam 
non succurrunt. Est vero &7tco86c; ea vox etiam, 
quae neque choro, neque fidibus concordat. 
Haec llle: quibus mnuere videtur, eiusmodi 
cantum harmoniae omnis prorsus expertem esse: 
et revera cucu<r>ntus ille nihil praeter 
molestum strepitum, insuavemque sonum prae 
se fert, et vix cantus nomine dignus est. Unde 
{Tragaedi} Tragoedi> 339 etiam xr\pvxaq <xovq> 
aAeKtpuovaq tanquam vocales, et clamosos 
praecones appellant, teste Eusthatio octto To£> 
yapueiv, id est, a vociferando. Nam dum 
cucu<r>rit, altum admodum exclamat, ldque 
non solum interdiu, sed et noctu, ac turn statutis 
ferme horis. Ut vero maiorem, ut apparet, 
strepitum clamosa sua voce excitet, itaque iam 
iam cucu<r>riturus, alis ad latera collisis, 
ingentem ita sonitum edit, seipsumque fent: 
quod ideo facere ipsum D. Gregonus 340 scribit, 
ut se vigilantem reddat. 

Sunt qui profunda nocte validius, matutino vero 
tempore remissius cantare putent, eius rei hanc 
rationem assignantes, quod cantus vero feratur, 
ventus autem noctu, quam sub crepusculum 
matutinum magis spiret, cuius beneficio longius 
audiatur. Utut est, media fere nocte canere, 
rursumque summo mane, tarn clarum, ac notum 
est, ut supervacaneum sit super tali re 
authoritates veterum citare. 



Juvenal mentioned it as well as Qumtilian*. "My dear 
Battista" he said "I do think that undoubtedly they do 
not say anything else but what sometimes I found in 
qualified texts, that is ap§ t don - jarring, dissonant, 
absurd -, although the authors do not any longer cross 
my mind. Truly, ap§ t dbs is also that voice which goes 
well neither with a chorus nor with a cithara." Those 
are his words: by which it seems that he want to 
indicate that such a song is entirely devoid of any 
harmony, and in truth that cock-a-doodle-doo shows 
to be nothing but a bothersome cackling and an 
unpleasant sound, and hardly worthy of name of 
song. Hence the tragic poets call also heralds the 
cocks - kerykas <tous> alektiyonas - as they are loud 
and gaggling heralds, according to Eustathius, apb toil 
garyein, that is, from shouting. For, while he does a 
cock-a-doodle-doo, he shouts very loudly, and he is 
doing so not only during the day, but also at night, 
and during this time at approximately fixed hours. 
Then, in order to give rise, as it seems, to a greater 
noise using his cackling voice, and then when he is 
just about to crow, after he flapped the wings on 
flanks utters such a loud sound and strikes himself: 
and Saint Gregory* writes that he does this to make 
himself watchful. 

There are people who think he crows more loudly in 
the deep night, whereas more faintly towards 
morning, ascribing the reason of this to the fact that 
the song is carried, and the wind blows more during 
the night than towards morning's twilight, and 
because of its favorable effect it is heard at a greater 
distance. Be that as it may, it is so evident and well- 
known that he sings at almost midnight and again at 
morning's top, that it would be superfluous to quote 
in this regard the authority of the ancients. 



Page 204 



Ut modo de utilitate [204] huiusmodi sive 
cantus, sive cucu<r>ritus, quam homimbus 
praestat, dicamus, scire licet, veteres 341 in primis 
gnomonibus horariis nondum repertis noctis 
deliquium, et accessum diei eo metitos esse: 
etenim initium a prima mediae noctis 
lnclinatione ordiebantur, proximumque tempus 
Gallicmium vocabant, quod eo tempore lucem 
multo ante praesentiens mcipiat canere. Tertium 
conticinium, cum et avis conticescat, et homines 
una conquiescant. Quartum diluculum mane, 



Now, for speaking of the utility that this kind of song 
or crowing offers to mankind, first of all we must 
know that when gnomon* sundials had not yet been 
invented, the ancients thanks to it measured the 
fading of night and the approaching of day: and in 
fact they started to speak of beginning from the first 
turning of midnight, and they called the following 
period galliciniunt 1 ' - cockcrow, dawn - because in that 
moment the cock begins to sing since he is feeling the 
light much in advance. They called the third period 
conticinium - the moment of silence - when also the 



339 Forse in Sofocle*, Antenoridae fr 141 N.: ornitha kai keryxa kai diakonon. - Eustathius adlliadem I 320, p. 110, 19: auto de . 
tou geryo to phono pardgetai (cfr. adlliadem VII 384, p. 686, 21). 

340 Riferimento di Aldrovandi: Lib. 10 cap. 21; riferimento di Gessner: Moralia (o Expositio in beatum lob libri XXXV); riferimento di 
Lind (1963): Saint Gregory Opera Omnia; Patrologia Eatina (J. P. Migne, 1849), 71. (Patrologia Eatina is cited hereafter as P. E) 

341 Confronta Macrobio*, commento al Somnium Scipionis&i Cicerone 1,3,12 dove si parla di contici<n>ium e gallicinium. 



69 



cum clarus lam dies esset ab exorto Sole. Itaque 

secundus Galli cantus multo Soils exortum 

antevenit, uti Iuvenalis 342 quoque meminit 

inquiens: 

Quod tamen ad Galli cantumfacit ilk secundi 

P<r>oximus ante diem Caupo sciet 

et Horatius 343 

Sub Galli cantum consultor ubi ostiapulsat. 

Ab hac veterum consuetudine, quod scilicet 

noctis deliquium, et accessum diei Galli cantu 

mdicarent, sumptum est hoc vulgatum 

proverbium: Priusquam Gallus iterum cantet, id est, 

admodum mane, et antelucano. Videtur autem 

desumptum ex Anstophane 344 : 

7t66ev; 

ouS'el p.a Aia ToT'r|A6e<;, ore To Seutepov 

AAeKTpucov ecpBevyeto 

id est: {minime gentium} 

Ne si quidem te ilk appuRsses tempore, 

Cum Gallus iterum caneret. 

Quia vero ita diem adventantem homimbus 
inclamet, r||i.ep6cpcovo<; 345 Graecis vocari meruit, 
quasi diem canens. Qua in re equidem maximam 
mortalibus utilitatem praestat: quod tunc sibi 
reliquendum lectum sciant, cum eos Gallus a 
profundo saepe somno excitat, unde dcAeietopoc, 
et aXeKTpuova dictum esse ante 346 etiam 
diximus. 



Hinc apud Theocritum 347 duodecim puellae 
Thebanae Helenae pollicentur se mane 
reversuras et novum epithalamion, seu carmen 
nuptiale cantaturas, ubi Ttpatoq doiSoq, id est 
primus cantor, nimirum Gallus Gallinaceus e 
cubili suo msonuerit. 



bird keeps silent and at the same time men are resting. 
They call fourth period the morning twilight, when 
the day is already bright because of the risen sun. 
Thus the second cockcrow comes much before the 
sunrise, as Juvenal* also mentions when he says: 
Nevertheless, what he does at the crowing of the second cock 
the next innkeeper will know before day 
and Horace* : 
When the client knocks at door at cock crow. 

From this custom of the ancients, that is, to set the 

fading of the night and the approaching of the day 

according to the cock crow, this common proverb has 

been derived: Before the cock crows a second time, that is, 

early in the morning and at daybreak. On other hand 

it seems that it has been gathered from 

Aristophanes* : 

pothen? 

oud'ei ma Dia tot'elthes, bote to deuteron 

Alextij0n ephthengeto 

that is: {not at all} 

Not even if- by Zeus -you had arrived in that moment 

when the cock was crowing the second time. 

Undoubtedly, because he announces to mankind the 
approaching of the day with such a loud voice, he 
deserved from Greeks to be called hemerophonos - day- 
announcing, since he announces the day. 
Undoubtedly in this connection he performs a very 
great service to the mortals: because in that moment 
they learn that must leave the bed, since the rooster is 
awakening them from an often sound sleep, whence 
already before I said that he has been called alektora 
and alektiyona. 

Hence in Theocritus* twelve Theban girls promise 
Helen they would have returned next morning and 
would have sung a new epithalamium, or wedding 
song, when prdtos aoidos, that is the first singer, just the 
rooster, would have sung from his nest. 
Neumetha kdmmes es orthron, epeika prdtos aoidos 



342 Satira IX, 107-108: quod tamen ad cantum galli facit ille secundi | proximus ante diem caupo sciet, [...]. 

343 Satirae 1.1,10. E quella die inizia con: Qui fit, Maecenas, ut nemo, quam sibi sortem... 

344 II passo di Aristofane e introvabile, anche se per Lind (1963) il riferimento e aLc donne a parlamento o Ecclesia^use 30-31. Fra l'altro 
alcuni lessici - Passow, Bailly - rimandano per ephthengeto ad Aristofane Ecclesia^use 191, come sembra anche Aldrovandi <in 
Concion(antibus)>, mentre Liddel-Scott non registra tale verbo. Franco Montanari lo riporta solo a proposito di Luciano Dialoghi 
delle cortigiane 10,3. Ad ogni modo la traduzione, eliminando il minime gentium incomprensibile, sembra essere: "Da dove?" "Neppure 
se per Zeus tu fossi giunto allora, quando il gallo cantava per la seconda volta". - II passo e tratto da Gessner che a sua volta lo trae 
da Erasmo da Rotterdam*. Conrad Gessner, EListoria Animalium III (1555) a pagina 405: Hinc Iuvenalis, Quod tamen ad galli 
cantum facit ille secundi, Proximus ante diem caupo sciet. Consimiliter Aristophanes in Concionatricibus, Ouo'sl pa Ala 
ToT'r|A6s<;, ots to Ssutspov AAeictpucov Ecp6ej>j>eTo, Erasmus. 

345 Cfr Simonide*, f. 47D = PMG 583, citato da Ateneo* IX,16,374d. Aldrovandi leggeva il passo nell'edizione di Fulvio Orsini*, 
Carmina...lyricorum...ex Bibliotheca Fulvii Ursini Komani, Antverpiae 1568, dato che segue la lezione hemetvphonos, nuntius diei, e non 
quella dei codici di Ateneo himetvphonos = dalla voce soave. 

346 A pagina 184. 

347 Theocritus Idylls 18. 56-57. (Iind, 1963) 



70 



NeujieBa icaji.ji.ec; ec, 6p6pov, eTteiica Ttpatoq 

aoiSoq 

'E| evvac, Ke\a8r\ar\, &vaa)(oov e{JTpi)(a Seipfjv 

Redibimus et nos mane, ubi primus cantor 

E cubili suo insonuerit sustolkns pulchre pennatam 

cervicem. 

Ovidius 348 eleganter ab eiusmodi officio, nempe 
quod nos e {summo} <somno> excitet, Galium 
lucis praenuncium appellat, inquiens. 
lam {dederit} <dederat> cantus lucis praenundus ales. 

Sed hoc alibi 349 clanus indicat, dum ait. 

lamque {pruinosos} <pruinosus> molitur {lucifer} 

<Eucifer> axes, 

Inque suum miseros excitat ales opus. 

Et Martialis 350 pueros, qui frugi essent, eo 
tempore olim surrexisse innuere videtur, dum 
alios qui tardius solito adhuc in lecto desidiose 
recubabant, sic hortatur. 

{Surgite, nam pueri vendit ientacula pictor) 

<Surgite: iam vendit pueris ientacula pistor> 

Cristataeque sonant undique lucis aves. 

Eodem modo {somniculosum} 

<somniculosam> Pseca<de>m e somno 

excitans Aelius Iulius Crottus, mquit: 

Exurgit alma de rutilo mari dies, 

Et nox gelatis cedit irrepens {equis} <aquis,> 

Cristata cecinit pluries Psecas aiis, 

Sustolle tandem somno oculos pigro graves. 

Hue spectat Galli encomium, quod nobis 
Plinius 351 his verbis exaratum reliquit: Proxime 
gloriam sentiunt et hi nostri ligiles noctumi, quos 
excitandis in opera mortalibus, mmpendoque somno 
natura genuit. Norunt sidera, et temas distinguunt horas 
inter£u cantu; cum sole eunt cubitum, quartaque 
castrensi tigilia ad curas laboremque revocant, nee solis 
ortum incautis patiuntur obrepere, diemque venientem 
{nunciant} <nuntiant> cantu, ipsum vero cantum 
plausu laterum. Quae sane omnia cantui ems 
potius, quam mgenio accepta referre debet 
humanum genus. 



Ex eunas keladese, anaschon eutricha deiren 

We also shall return tomorrow morning, when the first singer 

Will have sung from his nest lifting the wonderfully feathered 

neck. 



From this kind of task, and precisely because he 
wakes up us from slumber, clearly and correctly 
Ovid* calls the cock messenger of light, saying: 
The light's messenger bird had already uttered his songs. 

But elsewhere he is pointing this more clearly, when 

he says: 

Now the cold Eucifer* sets in motion the skies, 

and the bird calls the wretched men to their work. 

And it seems that Martial* want to signify that once 
decent youths rose up in that moment, whereas he 
was urging as follows the other ones who were idly 
still stretched out in bed later than usual: 

Get up: the baker already sells the fancy cakes to the little boys 

for breakfast 

And everywhere the combed birds of light are singing. 

In the same manner Elio Giulio Crotti* says, when he 
stirs the drowsy Psecas from sleep: 

The litalisnng day rises from the red sea, 
And the night vanishes creeping into the chilly waters, 

O Psecas, the combed bird has often sung, 
Eft up at last your eyes grown heavy with sluggish sleep. 

Here is fitting the praise of the rooster which Pliny* 
left written to us by these words: Nearly likewise - the 
peacocks - are longing for glory also these our nightly guardians 
Nature created for arousing mortals to their labor and for 
breaking their slumber. They are acquainted with the stars and 
distinguish every three-hour period during the day with their 
crowing. They go to bed with the sun, and at the fourth camp 
watch they recall us to our cares and labor. And they do not 
permit the sunrise to creep upon us unnoticed and announce the 
coming day with song, and the song itself is announced by 
flapping the wings. Undoubtedly the mankind must 
attribute all these things as due more to its song than 
to its intelligence. 



348 Fasti 11,767. 

349 Amoves I.VI,65-66 

350 Hpigrammata XIV, 223, Adipata: Surgite: iam vendit pueris ientacula pistor | Cristataeque sonant undique lucis aves. 

351 Gia in parte citato a pagina 183 - Naturaiis historia X,46: Proxime gloriam sentiunt et hi nostri vigiles nocturni, quos excitandis in 
opera mortalibus rumpendoque somno natura genuit. Norunt sidera et ternas distinguunt horas interdiu cantu. Cum sole eunt 
cubitum quartaque castrensi vigilia ad curas laboremque revocant nee solis ortum incautis patiuntur obrepere diemque venientem 
nuntiant cantu, ipsum vero cantum plausu laterum. 



71 



Amant hunc cantorem milites, quia in castris 
illo 352 vice pariter horarii gnomonici utuntur. 
Nam cum statis <noctis> horis vigilias mutare 
coguntur hoc indice noctis intervalla 
discriminant: <Crepusculo cubitum eunt, tribus 
ante noctis statum (id est ante mediam noctem) 
horis cantant. medio eiusdem spatio vocem 
iterant, tribus itidem ab mtempesta nocte horis, 
iterum cantil{l}ant: quod tempus ob id 
gallicmium appellatur.> quare bellicis curnbus 
aliquando singulis singulos Gallos alligant. 353 
Prisci itaque excubiarum, et vigiliarum signum 
mdicatun Galium potius, quam ullum aliud 
animal depmgeba<n>t. 

Disputant multi, cur non multum ante soils 
ortum cantum ilium suum repetat: sunt qui 
causam ems ad avis naturam referant, sunt qui ad 
sympathiam ems cum illo sidere. 



Soldiers enjoy this singer because in their camps they 
use him instead and alike a gnomon sundial. In fact, 
when at night's appointed time they must change 
watches, they split up the night's intervals by this 
signal: <They go to roost at twilight, they sing three 
hours before night's beginning (that is, before 
midnight). At half of this nighttime interval they 
reiterate the song. And so also again they hum three 
hours from the beginning of night's heart: and, 
because of this, this moment is said gallidnium - the 
dawn.> therefore sometimes they fasten a rooster to 
each of their war chariots. Thus the ancients, when 
they had to indicate the signal of duties and watches, 
they represented the rooster rather than any other 
animal. 

Many dispute the reason why he is repeating his song 
not too much before sunrise: there are some ascribing 
the cause of this to the bird's nature, others ascribe it 
to his sympathy with that star. 



Page 205 



Qui naturam ems seu causam effectricem 
constituunt, aiunt, animal hoc a natura 
calidissimum, et in appetendo [205] in primis et 
nutriendo avidum ob calorem quidem msitum 
cibum acceptum citius concoquere: itaque ob 
aviditatem, naturae appetitum suum sigmficare, 
quasi pas cen tern se mvitet, et excitet. Alii, qui 
rem quamlibet alicui certo siden dicatam esse 
volunt, non aliter ac lotum herbam, solarem esse 
existimant, mdeque fieri, ut Gallus, sub soils 
exortum canat, eodem modo, quo lotus, eo 
exoriente, folia sua pandit, et occidente, 
contrahit, quasi occulta quadam, et naturali 
ratione, redeunte ad ortum duce suo, uterque 
gaudeat: atque haec quidem eorum est sententia, 
cuius opmionis etiam Cardanus fuit, quod scilicet 
Solis robur sequatur. Albertus vero ems fuit 
sententiae, ut Galium ideo horas cantu suo 
distinguere credident, quod aurae mutationes ex 
motibus solis contingentes facile sentiat. 

Alii rursus ad naturam avis referunt, et salacitati 
ems eiusmodi eventum ascnbi oportere 
contendunt: cantu nempe veneris appetentiam 



Those who define his nature, or creative principle, say 
that this animal, very warm by nature, avid first of all 
both in wishing and in nourishing himself because of 
the heat indeed located in himself, he digests more 
quickly the food he swallowed: thus because of his 
avidity he shows the peculiar instinct of his nature, as 
inviting and exciting himself to eat. Others, who claim 
that whatever thing is dedicated to a certain star, so 
are thinking that the lotus* herb is solar, and hence 
the cock sings towards the sunrise likewise the lotus 
spreads its leaves when the sun is rising and closes 
them when it is setting, as they were both enjoying 
because of an inner and natural reason, being that 
their leader is rising again: at any rate their opinion, 
shared also by Gerolamo Cardano*, is as follows, i.e. 
that he runs after the solar power. On the contrary 
Albertus* thought that the rooster is even beating the 
hours by means of his song because he easily senses 
the changes of the air occurring because of the 
movements of the sun. 

Others newly refer to the bird's nature, claiming that 
such an event must be ascribed to his lustiness: for 
the lust is just showed through the song: and 



352 Illo non viene emendato con Mis. II discorso fila liscio. 

353 Imperdonabile l'amputazione perpetrata da Aldrovandi al testo di Gessner, ricavato da Gisbert Longolius*. II discorso di Ulisse 
e monco e quasi insulso. Aldrovandi, se voleva ricavare spazio, poteva, per esempio, dare dei tagli abbondanti ai ripetitivi e 
nauseanti Moralia di Gregorio Magno. Ma non lo fece: doveva lisciare l'Inquisizione! - Pertanto si procede all'integrazione con il 
testo di Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 383: Amant et hunc cantorem milites, quia in castris illis vice horarii 
gnomonici est. Nam cum statis noctis horis vigilias commutare coguntur, hoc indice noctis intervalla discriminant. Crepusculo 
cubitum eunt, tribus ante noctis statum (id est ante mediam noctem) horis cantant. medio eiusdem spatio vocem iterant, tribus 
itidem ab intempesta nocte horis, iterum cantil{l}ant: quod tempus ob id gallicinium appellatur. Itaque bellicis curribus aliquando 
singulis singulos gallos alligant, Gyb. Longolius. 



72 



significari: ldque mde probare nituntur, quod 
antequam usui venereo sufficiat, conticescat, 
peracto subinde cucu<r>riat, turn eo magis 
opinionem suam astruunt, quod etiam nonnullae 
aliae aves proclivitatem, ac lubentiam ad mitum 
quolibet praeeant cantu, quemadmodum alibi 
attestatur etiam Plmius 354 , turn vero, ubi ait, 
Perdices faeminas condpere supervolantium afflatu, saepe 
voce tantum audita masculi. Contingere autem 
Gallmaceis autumant, quod fere caeteris usu 
venire compertum est, ut peracto cibo, refecto 
per quietem corpore, ac inde maxime vegeto 
libidmis titillentur pruritu: mtervulsus autem 
somnus, ac identidem repetitus cantus 
frequentiae causam facile suggerat. Hums 
opinionis adagiorum author 355 ab amico suo 
Leone acceptam adducit pro miraculo, ut ait 
Scaliger 356 . Leo vero llle, quern adagiorum author 
citat, causam in tria haec reijcit, quod scilicet per 
noctem cibum depellens, eumque in omne 
corpus dividens modificetur, quieteque plunma 
satietur, ut Democrito apud Ciceronem 357 visum 
esse ait: secundo quod avis sit salacissima, et 
intercepti, et frequentis somni: tertio ut 
Gallmarum foetificatio sit plenior et foecundior. 



therefore they try hard to demonstrate that before 
devoting himself to sexual intercourse he keeps silent, 
and immediately after having done it he starts to sing, 
and so much more they uphold their point of view 
because also some other birds reveal in advance with 
whatever sing the bent and the pleasure for mating, as 
afterwards elsewhere also Pliny* indeed testifies when 
saying that female partridges* conceive through the breath of 
the males that fly over them, often through the only heard voice 
of the male. They think that to the roosters it happens 
what in almost all other birds for experience is well- 
known to happen, that is, after the food has been 
digested and the body has been refreshed through the 
rest and being so very lusty, it is then that they are 
titillated by the itch of sexual desire: the interrupted 
sleep, and as much times resumed, would easily 
furnish the reason of the frequency of the song. As 
Julius Caesar Scaliger* says, the author of the Adagia — 
i.e. Erasmus of Rotterdam*, who is sharing this 
opinion, adds that he learned it from his friend 
Ambrogio Leone* as an extraordinary thing. That 
Leone, quoted by the author of Adagia, is placing the 
cause in these three situations, that during the night 
removing the food and sharing it through the whole 
body he restores his equilibrium and that he satisfies 
himself by a very abundant rest, like, as far as he is 
affirming, it seemed to Democritus* in Cicero*: 
second, because he is a very lustful bird of interrupted 
and frequent sleep: third, so that the hens' eggs laying 
is more abundant and fertile. 

Mihi eorum sententia plurimum arndet, qui ad I am quite in favor of the point of view of those 



354 Plinio sta parlando delle pernici - "Naturalis historia X,102: Nee in alio animali par opus libidinis. Si contra mares steterint, feminae 
aura ab iis flante praegnantes fiunt, hiantes autem exerta lingua per id tempus aestuant. Concipiunt et supervolantium adflatu, saepe 
voce tantum audita masculi, adeoque vincit libido etiam fetus caritatem, ut ilia furtim et in occulto incubans, cum sensit feminam 
aucupis accedentem ad marem, recanat revocetque et ultro praebeat se libidini. Rabie quidem tanta feruntur, ut in capite 
aucupantium saepe caecae motu sedeant. 

355 Impossibile tradurre in modo adeguato questa frase alquanto sconnessa di Aldrovandi, clie verosimilmente e una sintesi 
maldestra di un frammento di Conrad Gessner in Historia Animalium III (1555) pag. 383: Scribit in Divinationibus M. Cicero, 
Democritum hisce ferme causam adortum explicare, cur ante lucem concinant galli. Depulso (inquit) et in omne corpus diviso ac 
modificato cibo, cantus aedunt quiete satiati. Qui quidem, ut ait Ennius, silentio noctis favent faucibus, rursum cantu plausuque 
premunt alas. Sunt vero qui (huius sententiae est Ambrosius Leo Nolanus, cuius verba copiosius recitat Erasmus in pro verb io, 
Priusquam gallus iterum cecinerit) salacissimae avitii eius naturae acceptum referri astruant oportere eventum eiusmodi. Nam cantu 
significari Veneris appetentiam, inde est argumentum evidens, quod antequam usui Venereo sufficiant, conticescunt. Esse porro in 
more avibus nonnullis, ut proclivitatem et lubentiam ad initium quolibet praeeant cantu, quum alibi comprobat Plinius, turn ait, 
Perdices foeminas concipere supervolantium afflatu, [...]. - Ma anche Gessner non e esente da critiche, in quanto, facendo 
riferimento al De divinatione di Cicerone (11,57) usa depulso senza indicare da dove il cibo viene rimosso (Cicerone dice che viene 
rimosso dal pectus, cioe dal gozzo) e quindi anziche usare il verbo mitificor di Cicerone (che significaj&r diventare tenero) usa modificato, 
che significa regolare, moderare, porre un limite. Aldrovandi addirittura usa modificetur riferito al gallo, il quale cosi si darebbe una regolata. In 
sintesi: l'originale di Cicerone dice quanto segue: [...Jdepulso enim de pectore et in omne corpus diviso et mitificato cibo, [...] - [...] 
infatti dopo aver rimosso dal petto [dal gozzo] e dopo aver suddiviso e fatto diventare tenero il cibo a favore di tutto il corpo, [...]. 

356 Exotericarum exercitationum liber quintus decimus: de subtilitate, ad tiieronymum Cardanum (1557), exercitatio 239 Gallinaceus, dy eius cantus. 
§ The author of the Adagia is Desiderius Erasmus*. (Lind, 1963) 

357 De divinatione 11,57: Democritus quidem optumis verbis causam explicat cur ante lucem galli canant: depulso enim de pectore et 
in omne corpus diviso et mitificato cibo, cantus edere quiete satiatos; qui quidem silentio noctis, ut ait Ennius, "...favent faucibus 
russis | cantu, plausuque premunt alas." Cum igitur hoc animal tarn sit canorum sua sponte, quid in mentem venit Callisfheni dicere 
deos gallis signum dedisse cantandi, cum id vel natura vel casus efficere potuisset? 



73 



occultam cum Sole amicitiam confugiunt: 
siquidem alimenti desideno non canere docemur, 
quod (ut Scaligen verbis utar) etiam satur canat: 
nee Gallmae, quoniam canit a coitu: deinde canit 
praesente ilia, quam tunc non mit, nee noctu, 
cum alioqui multas secum confertas habeat 
iacentes, et immotas, quibuscum tamen non coit. 



Rursus non desunt, qui nisi statutis horis canere 
Galium dicant: quinim<m>o Cardanus 358 to turn 
naturalem diem in octo partes dividere ilium, 
author est, non tamen oriente sole canere, sed 
cum accedit ad aurorae terminos, sic et ante 
meridiem. Verum eiusmodi opinionem prorsus 
erroneam esse Iulius Scaliger tarn in excubiis, 
quam in lucubrationibus suis expertus testatum et 
revera alios etiam aliis frequentius mterdiu 
potissimum canere observamus, nullo servato 
tempore. Etsi vero veteres eorum cantu tempora 
sua dividerent, haud tamen ideo credendum est, 
ea tarn exacte, et minutim distinxisse, ut horarum 
pulsus facit, sed circiter idem tempus fere avem 
occm<u>isse. 



Cum itaque ex nocturno Galli cantu tanta 
hominibus utilitas, qualem diximus, cedat, haud 
desunt tamen, qui {ob 359 } vocem earn quoties 
audiant, Gallo malam crucem imprecentur, pigri 
nempe, et desidiosi homines, qui somno tantum, 
et ventn student: quales olim Sybaritae fuere, qui 
Gallos, ut Athenaeus 360 refert, in civitate haberi 
non permittebant. Erant autem gens mollissima, 
effaeminata, ac adeo delicata, ut non solum hanc 
alitem in urbe nutriri prohiberent, sed omnes 
etiam artes quae strepitum faciunt, veluti 
fabrorum omnium, reijcerent. Ut vero et delicatis 
huiusmodi homuncionibus consulamus, ut 
Galium domi alere possint, qui neque cantet, 
neque strepitum edat, mquimus, duobus id 
modis praestan posse, nulla tamen llli allata 
noxa. Plinius 361 enim circulo e fsarmentis) 



resorting to a hidden friendship with the sun: for we 
have the demonstration that he is not singing for 
food's desire, because (to use Scaliger's words) he 
sings even if he is replete: neither for desire of the 
hen, because he sings after the coitus: finally he sings 
while she is present and he is not mounting her, nor 
at night when however he has quite a lot of them 
perching close to him, and motionless, with whom he 
nevertheless doesn't copulate. 

Moreover there are those who affirm that the rooster 
doesn't sing if not at fixed hours: or rather Cardano 
claims that he splits the whole natural day into eight 
parts, and that nevertheless he doesn't sing when the 
sun is rising, but when it is approaching to boundaries 
of the dawn, as well as before midday. On the 
contrary Julius Scaliger, skilled in his night parties out 
of home as well as in his nighttime jobs, affirms that 
such an opinion is completely wrong: and in fact we 
observe that some are singing more often than others 
chiefly during the day, without observing whatever 
time. Truly, even if the ancients divided their own 
time by their song, nevertheless it is not necessary 
therefore to believe that they split it so exactly and 
minutely as the pulsation of the clocks does, but that 
the bird nearly was singing approximately at the same 
moment. 

Therefore, although from nighttime's song of the 
rooster is following to mankind such a great utility as 
that I said, nevertheless there are those who, 
whenever hear that voice are whishing the rooster to 
be ruined, of course lazy and idle persons, who are 
devoting themselves only to sleep and greed: as once 
had been the Sybarites* who, as Athenaeus* tells, 
didn't allow the roosters to be kept in the city. On the 
other hand they were a very floppy people, effeminate 
and to such an extent delicate that they not only 
prohibited that this bird was raised in the city, but 
they also refused all the activities that make a noise, as 
those of all the artisans. But, in order to come across 
also such delicate munchkms, so that they can raise at 
home a rooster which neither crows nor cackles, I say 
that this can happen in two ways, without however 
any damage is brought to it. For Pliny promises that it 



358 Girolamo Cardano (Cardanus), De Subtilitate libri xxi (Nuremberg, 1550; Paris, 1550, 1551; Basle, 1554, 1560 (2), 1582, 1611); see 
also note "where reference is made to J.C Scaliger, Exotericarum Excrcitationum liber quintus decimus de Subtilitate, ad H. Cardanum, called 
Exercitationes for the sake of brevity in my notes. (Lind, 1963) 

359 Si espunge ob, die non da senso. 

360 DeipnosophisfalXll,15,518d. 

361 Naturalis historia, XXIX,80: At gallinacei ipsi circulo e ramentis addito in collum non canunt. - Ewiva il passaparola che non e 
affatto un'invenzione della nostra TV: infatti Aldrovandi se ne servi a iosa e proprio grazie al passaparola e stato capace di 
trasformare delle scagliette d'oro in tralci di vite. Vediamo questo iter che sa quasi di magico — una magia inversa rispetto a quella di 
re Mida* — un iter al quale come al solito sottende Gessner, e che ritroveremo a pagina 242. Infatti Gessner a pagina 385 della sua 
EListoria Animalium III (1555) fa un'errata citazione telegrafica di un passaggio di Plinio: Gallinaceis circulo e sarmento addito collo 
non canunt, Plinius. — Ma Plinio quando parla di un circulus messo al collo dei galli sta disquisendo di oro. Ecco il testo di Plinio 



74 



<ramentis> addito collo non cantaturum 
promittit: Albertus capite, et fronte oleo munctis. 
Haec experti, si vera eorum authorum praecepta 
invenerint, Galium ob futuram prolem nutrire 
poterunt, ut ea saepius saturi somno commodius 
indulgere queant. Praeterea castratus cantare 
desinit: idem victus facit tanquam pudibundus: 
denique cum ovis incubat, ut Aelianus 362 testatur, 
quasi eiusmodi officium virum dedecere non 
ignoret. 



SALACITAS. COITUS. PARTUS. 
Incubatus. Generatio. Exclusio. 

Salacissimum animal Galium esse quamvis ut 
Albertus scnbit, ad unum ovum foecundandum 
multeities cum eadem Gallma coeat, Oppianus 363 
prodidit. Quod sane, etsi aliae item dentur 
volucres, quarum libido apud authores magis 
celebratur, ut in Aquilae histona diximus, cuius 
congressu Martis et Veneris adulterium 
mdicabant 364 , et Passer etiam strenuissimus in 
hac venerea pal<a>estra habeatur athleta, verum 
esse videbimus, si Galli libidmem cum earum 
libidme conferamus. 



won't sing when you place on its neck a necklace 
done with specks of gold: Albertus, if its head and 
face will be greased with oil. After they tested these 
things, in recognizing as true the precepts of such 
authors, they could raise the rooster for a future 
offspring, so that sated with it they can more often 
and pleasantly abandon themselves to slumber. 
Furthermore, if he is castrated, he stops to sing: and 
when has been won he behaves like an ashamed: 
finally, when he sits on eggs, as Aelian* bears witness, 
it is like he is aware that such a task is not suitable for 
a male. 

LUSTFULNESS - MATING - EGGS LAYING 

Incubation - Generation - Hatching 

Oppian of Apamea* handed down that the rooster is 
a very lustful animal although, as Albertus writes, he is 
mating several times with the same hen in order to 
fecundate only one egg. In fact, even if other birds are 
existing whose sexual instinct by writers is more 
extolled, as I said in the chapter of the eagle*, with 
whose copulation they symbolized the adultery 
between Mars and Venus*, and even if the sparrow 
itself is thought a tireless athlete in this gym of love, 
we will see that it is corresponding to the truth if we 
compare the lust of the rooster with their sensuality. 



Page 206 



[206] Aquila enim, et Passer, similesque 
salaciores alites aliae salacitatem suam toto anni 
tempore minime exercent, ut facit Gallus noster, 
qui singulis diebus quinquagesies, et amplius 
uxores suas, quas plurimas habet, init, cum 



For the eagle* and the sparrow, and other similar 
rather salacious birds, exercise very little their lust all 
through the year in comparison with what our rooster 
is doing, who every day treads his females fifty times* 
and more, and he has a great number of them, while 



Naturalis historia, XXIX,80: Non praeteribo miraculum, quamquam ad medicinam non pertinens: si auro liquescenti gallinarum 
membra misceantur, consumunt id in se; ita hoc venenum auri est. At gallinacei ipsi circulo e ramentis addito in collum non canunt. 
— Insomnia, Plinio dice che le zampe delle galline sono in grado di distruggere l'oro, ma una collana fatta di pagliuzze d'oro ha il 
grande potere di far tacere i galli. - Questa magia opposta a quella di re Mida doveva essere abbastanza diffusa nel 1500. Infatti 
anche Pierandrea Mattioli* nel suo commento a Dioscoride* — sia in quello latino del 1554 che in quello postumo in italiano del 
1585 — affinche non cantino fa cingere il collo dei galli con una collana fatta di sarmentis, cioe con un sarmento di vigna. Probabilmente 
il testo in possesso di Mattioli, di Gessner, e quindi di Aldrovandi, era corrotto e riportava sarmentis invece di ramentis. Ma se 
Gessner e Aldrovandi enucleano la citazione pliniana dal suo contesto, Mattioli cita tutta quanta la frase di Plinio: pagina 186 - Liber 
II — cap. XLIII — GALLINAE, ET GALLI — Plinius cum de gallinis dissereret libro XXIX. cap. IIII. haec inter caetera memoriae prodidit. 
Non praeteribo (inquit) miraculum, quanquam ad medicinam non pertinens: si auro liquescenti gallinarum membra misceantur, 
consumunt illud in se. Ita hoc venenum auri est. At gallinaceis ipsis circulo e sarmentis addito collo non canunt. - Neppure a 
Mattioli e balenato che quell' at ha un preciso significato: si tratta di una contrapposizione. Infatti l'oro, guastato dalle galline, e 
tuttavia in grado di prendersi una rivincita facendo ammutolire i galli. Ma nel 1500 nel testo di Plinio gironzolavano i sarmentis ed era 
giocoforza utilizzarli. 

362 La natura degli animali, IV,29. 

363 Oppian Ixeutica, in Dionysius, De Avibus, a paraphrase of Oppian in Poetae Bucolici et Didactici, etc. (ed. by F. S. Lehrs, Paris, Didot, 
1851). (Lmd, 1963) 

364 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 404: Alectryon quidam adolescens Marti acceptus fuit, quern Mars aliquando 
cum Venere concubiturus in domo Vulcani pro vigile secum ducebat, ut si quis appareret, Sol oriens praesertim, indicaret. Ille vero 
somno victus cum Solis ortum non indicasset, Mars a Vulcano deprehensus et irretitus est. Qui postea dimissus, Alectryoni iratus in 
avem eum mutavit una cum armis quae prius gerebat, ita ut pro galea cristam haberet. Itaque memor deinceps huius rei alectryon, 
etiam nunc ales, id tempus quo Sol prope ortum est, quo scilicet Vulcanus domum reverti solebat, cantu designat. Fabulam 
memorant Lucianus, et ex eo interpretatus Caelius Rhodiginus, et Aristophanis Scholiastes, et Eustathius in octavum Odysseae, et 
Varinus. - Luciano, II sogno ovvero ilgallo - Oneiros e alektryon - 3. 



75 



contra unica illi contenti sint. 

Testantur vero ems libidinem, non solum 
Gallmarum maxima turba, sed acemmae etiam 
pugnae, quas non ob liberos cibumque 
committit, sed ut faeminis potiatur solum, quales 
etiam canes conferere solent, at hi quod simul 
unam inire non detur, llle quod ullam ex suis ab 
aliquo contamman nolit, qua in re sapientis 
patrisfamilias munere fungitur, ac non aliter ac 
hie honori suo consulere videtur: quinim<m>o 
tanto amore suas prosequitur, ut si mon 
contingat eas, ipse contabescat moerore animi. 
Insuper non hinc tantum Galli salacitas 
cognoscitur, quod tanta frequentia cum propriis 
uxonbus coeat, sed in eo magis, quod ut 
Aelianus 365 etiam refert, si like desint, a 
masculino genere minime sibi temperet, sed in 
media etiam corte, qui recentior advenerit, cum 
meat. Etsi apud Plutarchum 366 Grillus Sophista 
apud Circem deformatus in brutum neget ex 
brutis ullum masculam venerem affectare. 



Nam et Anstoteles apud Athenaeum 367 scribit, ex 
us Gallis, quos Dns consecrant, qui prius dicatus 



the former birds are contented with a single one. 

They bear witness to rooster's lustfulness not only the 
great flock of hens, but the very bitter fights he carries 
on not because of offspring or food, but only in order 
to grab his females, just as also the dogs are 
accustomed to fight, but the latter ones because it is 
impossible they mate all together a single female, the 
former one because he does not wish any of his 
females to be contaminated by somebody else, and 
with regard to that he performs the function of a wise 
family father, and not otherwise than the latter he 
seems to take care of his own honorableness: he even 
follows his females with so much love that if they 
happen to die he pines away with grief. Furthermore, 
the rooster lustfulness is recognized not only from 
this, that is, the great frequency with which he 
copulates with his own females, but even more from 
the fact that, as Aelian* also records, if there is lack of 
them, he does not in the slightest refrain from the 
males, since even in the middle of the barnyard he 
mounts the one who entered it most recently. Even 
though in Plutarch* the sophist Gryllus, transformed 
into an animal at Circe's* cavern, denies that any one 
among animals is aiming to have sex with a male. 

For also Aristotle* in Athenaeus* writes that, among 
those roosters they dedicate to the gods, he who has 



365 La natura degli animali IV,16: I galli [alektryones] quando sono in gruppo saltano addosso tutti quanti al nuovo venuto. - Stavolta 
Aldrovandi, ispirato da Gessner, ha mistificato assai, a differenza di Gessner, il testo di Eliano, che e piuttosto lapidario, privo di 
qualsiasi finalita moralistica antiomosessuale. Eliano vuole semmai semplicemente dire che un gruppo di galli e pericoloso come 
puo esserlo un gruppo di uomini nei confronti di uno straniero. Infatti Eliano apre 4,16 con poche parole riferite al gallo e finisce il 
capitolo senza piu parlare del gallo - o meglio dei galli - ma solo di pernici. Ecco come inizia il capitolo: "I galli quando sono in 
gruppo saltano addosso tutti quanti al nuovo venuto. E la stessa cosa fanno anche le pernici domestiche nei confronti di una 
appena giunta e non ancora addomesticata.f...]" — Ecco il testo fuorviante in senso antiomosessuale adottato da Aldrovandi e stilato 
da Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 384: Si foeminarum facultas non sit, omnes subigunt in cohortem suam 
recentem venientem, Aelianus. 

366 Moralia (JSfum bruta animalia ratione utantur), 64 (p. 990D) - From http://etext.lib.virginia.edu: PLUTARCH. The Cynic's point of 
view, since it deprecated the use of reason, did not include any theory of animal rationality. But at the beginning of the Christian 
period Plutarch "wrote a dialogue (usually called Gryllus, from the name of the protagonist) in "which Odysseus, cast up on the witch 
Circe's island, is allowed to speak "with some of the Greeks whom Circe has turned into animals; if any "wish to regain their human 
shapes, they may do so. Gryllus is a pig. He is far from wishing to become a man again. To begin "with, the life of the beasts is more 
natural than that of human beings, for the souls of the beasts are able to produce that virtue which is peculiar to each species 
"without any instruction. Animals moreover have more "wisdom and prudence than men, for these virtues are implanted in animals 
by Nature, not by art. If you do not "want to call this reason, says Gryllus, "it is time for you to find out a finer and more honorable 
name for it as, it cannot be denied, it exhibits a power greater in its effects and more wonderful than either." Animals all reason, but 
some are more rational than others. "I do not believe," says Gryllus (in a sentence that "was to be reproduced by Montaigne and to 
echo through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries), "there is such difference between beast and beast in reason and 
understanding and memory, as between man and man." 

367 Liber 9 (Aldrovandi). - Ateneo Deipnosophistai IX,46,391de: 'ApvaTOTeArjq J>OUV cprjOVV OTV TCOV avatlBepevcov EV TOiq 
ispoic, oAsictpuovcov Tov avaTsBevTa ov itpoovtec, o^suouav p^XP 1 ^ v &^°<?> ocvaTeBrj- si 8e pf| dvaTeBevr), ]i6.^ovxai 
Ttpoc, a\\r\\ovc, xa\ 6 i\XXr\aac, TOV r|TTr|6evTa 8va TtavTOC, O^SUSV. (recensuit Georgius Kaibel, 1888 - Teubner, Stuttgard, 
1985) - Aristotele appunto a proposito dei galli che vengono offerti in voto nei templi dice che quelli gia presenti montano quello 
che e stato offerto fino a quando non ne sia offerto un altro; ma se non fosse offerto, combattono fra loro e il vincitore monta 
continuamente quello che e stato sconfitto. (traduzione di Elio Corti) - At all events Aristotle says, that when cocks are kept in the 
temples as being dedicated to the Gods, the cocks who "were there before treat any new comer as a hen until another is dedicated in 
a similar manner. And if none are dedicated, then they fight together, and the one which has defeated the other "works his "will on 
the one which he has defeated, (translated by C. D. Yonge in Deipnosophists or Banquet of the learned, London, Henry G. Bohn, 1854 — 
traduzione basata sull'edizione del testo greco di Schweighauser, Strasburg, 1801-1807) 



76 



est, subigi a {novitiis} <novicns>, donee 
offeratur alius, quod si nullus donetur, inter se 
praelian, et a victore semper miri victum. Sed 
locus llle apud Anstotelem 368 sic legitur: Ubi sine 
faeminis munerarii, dicatique <in templis> 569 versantur 
Gallinacei, non temere eum qui nuper dicatus accesserit, 
omnes subigunt: ubi nihil de pugna meminit, quod 
Athenaeus ex se addidit. Ob tarn foedum, et 
horrendum Galli facinus olim, teste Plutarcho 370 
lex erat, ut Gallus si Galium misset, quamvis 
etiam Gallma abesset, vivus combureretur. Unde 
videre licet, qua mulcta eiusmodi nefarium scelus 
pnsci punirent in hominibus, si id in brutis 
faciebant: nee sane immerito, cum eiusmodi 
flagitiosi, et nequam homines, qui talem 
peccatum committunt, humanae naturae vim 
inferant, et interitum humano generi procurent, 
in sterili solo semine effuso, quod in Ona filio 
Iudae 371 severe admodum vmdicavit Deus. 
Quare lege pontificia tales a coetu hominum 
arcentur, turpiusque adulterio visum est stuprum 
virile. 



Sed ut unde digressa est oratio revertatur, Gallus 
noster in maiorem adhuc longeque 
detestabiliorem libidinis notam incurnt, dum 
cum alns etiam volucnbus, quae sui generis non 
sunt, ut cum Phasianis, et Perdicibus, ut postea 
dicemus, coeat, quod testatum etiam reliquit 
Aristo teles 372 . Sed forte Gallims magis adhuc 
vitio vertendum est, quod et like ab lisdem 
volucribus sese iniri permittant, adeo ut multi 
{diversas} < divers os> ex iis cum alns 
coeuntibus foetus excludi promittant. Non 



just been dedicated is trodden on by those who 
arrived last until another one is offered, and if none is 
offered they fight among themselves and the 
conquered is always trodden on by the winner. But 
that passage sounds in Aristotle's text as follows: 
When offered and consecrated roosters find themselves in temples 
without females, not casually all of them mount on the one who 
arrives soon after he has been dedicated, where he makes no 
mention of fighting, a thing that Athenaeus added on 
his own initiative. For such a repugnant and horrible 
crime of the rooster, according to Plutarch, once 
there was a law that if a rooster copulated with 
another rooster, although the lack of the hen, he 
should be buried alive. Hence one may see by what a 
sentence the ancients were punishing such an impious 
misdeed in humans, since they were doing so in 
reasonless animals: and certainly not wrongly, since 
those who commit such a sin are so wicked and 
worthless men that they do violence to human Nature 
and cause the extermination to the humankind by 
shedding the semen upon a sterile floor, a thing that 
the Lord punished most severely upon Onan* son of 
Juda. Therefore, by pontifical law such men are to be 
driven from human companionship, and the rape 
between males has been catalogued as more foul than 
adultery. 

But for the subject returns there whence it started, 
our rooster runs into a heavier behavior of lust and 
far more detestable when, as I will say afterwards, he 
is also mating with other birds who are not of his 
genus, such as pheasants* and partridges*, a thing that 
has been testified also by Aristotle. But perhaps we 
must lay the blame more on the hens since they also 
permit to be trodden by the same birds, so that many 
people are assuring that different offspring takes birth 
from those hens mating with other birds. No small 
argument for the salacity of roosters is what Mnaseas* 



368 Historia animalium IX, 8 614a 5-7: Kal STtl TCOV optuycov cbacaJTCOq. SVVOT8 8s aup(3avvsv TOUTO KCtl STtl TGOV 
dAsKTpuovcov. sv psv ydp toic, ispoiq, OTtou avsu BrjAsvdbv dvdiceivTou, tov dvemBspsvov Ttdvtsc, euAoycoc, o^evovgi. 
- Alio stesso modo - delle pernici accade - anche per le quaglie. Ma talora cio accade anche per i galli. Infatti nei templi, dove 
vengono posti come offerta votiva senza feminine, tutti quanti a giusta ragione montano quello che viene offerto. (traduzione di 
Elio Corti) - A similar proceeding takes place occasionally with barn-door cocks: for in temples, "where cocks are set apart as 
dedicate "without hens, they all as a matter of course tread any new-comer, (translated by D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, 1910) - 
Idem evenit etiam coturnicibus. Interdum etiam gallis. Nam in templis ubi sine gallinis dicati degunt, ut quisque donatus fuerit, eum 
omnes sane subigunt. (traduzione di Giulio Cesare Scaligero*) 

369 II testo viene emendato in base a quello di Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 384: Gallinacei etiam idem 
interdum quod perdices faciunt, in templis enim ubi sine foeminis munerarii dicatique versantur, non temere eum qui nuper dicatus 
accesserit, omnes subigunt, Aristot. 

370 Moralia (Num bruta animalia ratione utantuf), 64 (p. 990D). 

371 Genesi 38,9. 

372 De generatione animalium 11,4 738b: Per questo negli animali di specie diversa che si accoppiano maschio con femmina (si 
accoppiano quelli che hanno periodi uguali, gravidanze simili e non differiscono molto per le dimensioni del corpo), dapprincipio la 
prole nasce somigliante a entrambi i genitori, come gli animali che nascono dalla volpe e dal cane, o dalla pernice e dal gallo ma poi 
col trascorrere del tempo le generazioni successive giungono alia fine in accordo con la forma della femmina, come i semi forestieri 
si adattano alia terra, perche questa offre la materia, cioe il corpo, per i semi, (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 



77 



parum etiam Gallorum salacitatem arguit, quod 
Mnaseas apud Aelianum 373 memorat, nimirum 
nunquam ad Gallmas, quae in aede Hebae, ipsi 
vero in Herculis pascerentur, interfluente 
utramque aedem rivo perenni, et limpidae aquae 
nunquam transvolent, nisi cum libidine 
stimulentur. 

Tantae in his volucribus libidims salacitatisque 
causa est genitale semen, in iis maximopere 
redundans, cuius irritationem perferre 
nequeuntes, in libidine proruunt. Tanta vero 
semmis copia abundant, ut Clearchus apud 
Athenaeum 374 author sit, eos non solum cum 
vident faemmas id emittere, verumetiam cum 
vocem earum exaudiunt. Quare quid sibi velint 
ilia Ansto telis 375 verba: Gallorum testes tempore 
coitus magis conspicui sunt, a multis non puto 
mtelligi. Nam cum singulis fere, ut ita dicam, 
momentis coeat, singulis item momentis testes 
conspectiores evadere oportere, quis inde 
colligat, quod alioqui absurdum esset astruere. 
Ego vero hanc philosophi sententiam dupliciter 
exponi posse existimo, pnmo nempe ipsum 
comparare Gallorum aetatem perfectam aetati 
imperfectae, ac iuxta earum differentias 
magnitudmem, atque parvitatem testium 
aestimare. Certissimum enim est his avibus 
utcunque salacissimis vel a pnmo ortu non 
adesse facultatem generatncem. Exemplo sit 
aetas puerilis humana, caeterarumque specierum 
tenella, quae ad coitum est mepta: atque hac 
ratione Aristoteles dixit Gallorum testes tempore 
coitus esse magis conspicuos, ac si diceret, ubi 
aetatem validam obtinuennt, et usui veneris 
aptam obtinent, panter testes grandiores, quam 
habebant in aetate adhuc imperfecta. Secundo 
liceret forsan eadem verba hoc modo interpretari 
sensu ipso duce, et assertore, Gallis etsi coeant 
singulis anni temponbus, singulisque horis, 



recalls in Aelian, undoubtedly never with regard to the 
hens, bred in the temple of Hebe*, and the former 
ones in that of Hercules*, - that is - they never would 
fly across the everlasting and of clear water channel 
running between the two temples unless when they 
are stimulated by lust. 

In these birds the genital semen, especially abundant 
in them, is productive of such a great lechery and 
lustfulness that, since they cannot bear its irritant 
effect, they hurl themselves into lechery. They have a 
so great abundance of semen indeed that Clearchus 
affirms in Athenaeus that they emit it not only when 
they see the females, but even when hear their voice. 
Therefore, I do not think that many people 
understand the meaning of those words of Aristotle: 
The testicles of roosters are greater at the time of coitus. Since, 
so to speak, they copulate almost every moment, 
somebody could deduce that likewise in every 
moment the testicles are greater, a thing that on the 
other hand it would be absurd to be claimed. I think 
this statement of the Philosopher can be explained in 
two ways, and precisely, first, that he is comparing the 
perfect age of the roosters with their imperfect age, 
and that according to their difference - of age - he 
must judge the largeness and the smallness of 
testicles. For it is more than certain that, though very 
lustful, in these birds when newborn the generative 
faculty is not present. Let there be as example the 
human age of childhood and the tender age of the 
other species, which is inept for copulation: it was for 
this reason that Aristotle said the testes of roosters are 
greater at the time of copulation, just as if he had said 
that when they reached the right age, and when they 
will have it suitable for sexual intercourse, likewise 
they will have also the testicles greater than they had 
them at a still imperfect age. Secondly may be that 
those same words would be interpreted as follows, 
having as guide and support the common sense itself, 



373 L/7 natura degli animali XVII,46: Mnasea, nel suo trattato sull'Europa, parla di un tempio dedicato a Eracle e a sua moglie [Ebe, 
dea della giovinezza], che una tradizione poetica afferma che fosse figlia di Era. Nel recinto di questo tempio vengono allevati, egli 
dice, molti uccelli domestici, e precisamente galli e galline. Convivono in gruppi secondo il sesso e sono nutriti separatamente, a 
spese pubbliche, perche considerati sacri alle suddette divinita. Le galline vivono nel tempio di Ebe, i galli invece in quello di Eracle. 
Nel mezzo scorre un canale di limpide acque perenni, che impedisce alle galline di introdursi nel tempio di Eracle. Ma i maschi, 
nella stagione degli amori, oltrepassano a volo quel canale, e dopo aver coperto le femmine, tornano di nuovo alle loro abituali 
dimore, presso il dio oggetto del loro culto, purificati da quell'acqua che separa i due sessi. Come primo risultato degli 
accoppiamenti nascono, owiamente, le uova; quando poi le chiocce le hanno covate e ne hanno estratto i pulcini, i galli prendono 
con se i figli maschi e li allevano per proprio conto. Invece compito delle galline e allevare le femmine. (traduzione di Francesco 
Maspero) 

374 Si tratta di Clearco di Soli, filosofo ed erudito del secolo IV-III aC. Deipnosophistai IX,42,389f 

375 tiistoria animalium VI,9 564a 10-12: Nel periodo dell'accoppiamento, gli uccelli hanno i testicoli piu grossi; l'aumento e anche piu 
evidente in quelli piu portati al coito, come i galli e le pernici, meno in quelli che lo effettuano in modo discontinuo. (traduzione di 
Mario Vegetti) - De generatione animalium 1,4 717a 7-11: Chiaro il caso degli uccelli: i loro testicoli sono molto piu grossi nel periodo 
dell'accoppiamento e tutti gli uccelli che si accoppiano in una sola stagione, quando questo tempo e passato, li hanno cosi piccoli 
che sono quasi invisibili, mentre li hanno straordinariamente grandi nel tempo dell'accoppiamento. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 



78 



attamen peculiare coeundi tempus esse vernum: 
nam tunc calor mnatus viget in pluribus 
speciebus vegetalium, et animalium. Itaque si 
Gallorum testes considerentur, et tempore 
verno, autumnali, hyemali, et aestivo, et invicem 
comparentur, sensus docebit ipsos testes inesse 
grandiores tempore verno, minores vero 
autumnali, hyemali, et aestivo. 



Ut modo ad salacitatis causam regrediamur, 
Scaliger 376 in assignanda ea non satis sibi 
constare videtur. Cum enim pnus a nimia 
seminis redundantia fieri dixisset, mox {cen} 
<ceu> sui oblitus pauco humore abundare dicit, 
omnem vero in coitu impendere. Quaent autem 
in hunc modum: At Capi, qui castrati sunt, quare 
podagra miris modis afficiuntur. Galli non? Quia Capi 
pusillus calor, edacitas multa. In Gallo calor multus, cibi 
abstinentia non minor. Cur etgo [207] tot Gallinis unus 
sufficit si non multo humore praeditus est? Propterea 
quod quantum sued habet eo impendit. Haec ille. 



that nevertheless it is typical of the roosters, although 
they mate at all seasons and all hours, that the mating 
period is the springtime: for at that time the innate 
warmth in many species of vegetables and animals 
gains strength. Thus if the testicles of roosters should 
be considered in spring, autumn, winter, and summer, 
and should be compared each other, common sense 
will teach that the testicles themselves appear greater 
in the springtime, while they are smaller in autumn, 
winter, and summertime. 

Now, to return to the cause of lust, it seems that 
Julius Caesar Scaliger*, in his assignment of it, is not 
enough consistent with him himself. For when earlier 
he had said that it takes place because of a too much 
great surplus of semen, soon after, as if he had 
forgotten himself, says that they are rich in not much 
moisture, because they spend it completely in coitus. 
He wonders as follows: But why the capons, who are 
castrated, are so amazingly afflicted with podagra* and roosters 
are not? Because the capons have little heat and much voracity. 
There is much heat in the rooster, and the abstinence from food 
is not less. Why then only one suffices for so many hens if he is 
not endowed with much moisture? Because he uses the whole 
moisture he has in that activity. These are his words. 



Page 207 



Quantum vero ad avis petulantiam attinet, 
credidenm etiam pullum ilium Gallmaceum, 
quern Liviam 377 Tyberium adhuc in utero 
gestantem, exclusisse aiunt in manu, cum 
exploratura an marem esset par<i>tura, ovum 
{mcubandi} <mcubanti> Gallmae subduxisset, 
idque nunc sua, nunc ministrarum manu adeo 
fovisset 378 ut pullus excluderetur, non tantum 
sexum in Tyberio portendisse, ut multi volunt, 
sed salacitatem etiam et procacitatem earn, qua 
ille mox famosissimus fuit. Quinim<m>o 
quicunque nasum concavum, et frontem habent 
rotundam, et caput sursum emmens rotundum, 



As far as the impetuosity of the rooster is concerned, 
it would be my opinion that that hen's chick which, 
they say, while Livia Drusilla* - or Julia Augusta - was 
still carrying Tiberius* in her womb, she hatched in 
her hand, insomuch as, in order to get to know 
whether she would give birth to a male, she stole the 
egg from a broody hen, an egg she warmed now by 
her own hand, now by that one of maids until a chick 
was hatched out, not only she predicted the sex of 
Tiberius, as many are asserting, but also that 
lasciviousness and licentiousness for which afterwards 
he was very renowned. So, whoever has a concave* 
nose and a roundish forehead and a round and 



376 Exotericarum exercitationum liber quintus decimus: de subtilitate, ad ELieronymum Cardanum (1557), exercitatio 131 Quae de Magnete. 
paragrafo 4 De foeminae, ac masculi mutua propensione. Per l'altra exercitatio la tipografia ha stampato 272,2. Altro errore tipografico! Si 
tratta della exercitatio 277 Quae de testium avulsione paragrafo 2 Capi podagra. Gallus. 

377 Qui Aldrovandi fa schiudere l'uovo nella mano di Livia Drusilla, diversamente da quanto affermera ripetutamente: l'uovo venne 
fatto schiudere tra le mammelle. Per questo passaggio Aldrovandi trae la notizia verosimilmente da una fonte diversa, anche se 
simile, da quella rappresentata da Plinio Naturalis historia X,154: Quin et ab homine perficiuntur. Iulia Augusta prima sua iuventa 
Tib. Caesare ex Nerone gravida, cum parere virilem sexum admodum cuperet, hoc usa est puellari augurio, ovum in sinu fovendo 
atque, cum deponendum haberet, nutrici per sinum tradendo, ne intermitteretur tepor; nee falso augurata proditur. Nuper inde 
fortassis inventum, ut ova calido in loco inposita paleis igne modico foverentur homine versante, pariterque et stato die illinc 
erumperet fetus. — Questa fonte diversa da Plinio e rappresentata da Svetonio, come si specifica nella nota successiva. 

378 Vedi Svetonio* De vita Caesarum, Tiberius 14.2: Praegnans enim Livia cum, an marem editura esset, variis captaret ominibus, 
ovum incubanti gallinae subductum nunc sua nunc ministrarum manu per vices usque fovit, quoad pullus insigniter cristatus 
exclusus est. 



79 



ut Galli, luxuriosi vulgo putantur. 379 

Verum haud omnes Gallos aeque salaces esse 
constat, nam quidam eorum a pnmo naturae 
ortu ita, teste Aristotele 380 effaeminati nascuntur, 
ut neque cucu<r>riant, neque faemmas ineant. 
Sed venerem eorum, qui tentent supervenire, 
sponte patiantur. Et Theophrastus author est, 
referente Athenaeo 381 , agrestes cortalibus ad 
venerem procliviores esse. At cum nos 
agrestibus careamus, interest nostra etiam 
nos cere, qui salaciores in iis sint. Siquidem tales 
ad partus promovendos in pnmis agncola sibi 
comparare debet. Eos autem ita internosces. 
Sunt, teste Varrone 382 , lacertosi, rubenti, 
erectaque crista, rostro brevi, pleno, acuto, oculis 
ravis, aut nigris, palea rubra, collo vario, 
femimbus pilosis, unguibus longis, cauda magna, 
frequentibus pinnis. Gallmae {etiam nonj 
<etiamnum> 383 aeque libidinosae sunt. 



Iulius Caesar Scaliger 384 Galium salacem 
maritum, Gallmam salacem matricem vocabat. 
Quae autem veneris appetentior est, earn noctu 
mxta Galium proximam sedere Albertus tradit, 
sed hoc inter utnusque libidinem Theophrastus 
interesse autumat, citante Athenaeo, quod mas 
statim ac a cubili surgit ad venerem concitetur: 
faemmae vero magis progresso iam die. Coeundi 
modus est, ut Ansto teles 385 annotat, Gallma 
considente humi, Gallo vero superveniente. 
Inhorrescunt autem, teste eodem 386 , Gallmae a 



prominent head like roosters have, he is usually 
regarded as lustful. 

To tell the truth, it turns out that not all roosters are 
equally salacious: for, according to Aristotle, some of 
them even from birth find themselves naturally so 
effeminate that they neither crow nor tread the 
females. On the contrary they spontaneously bear the 
sex desire of those who attempt to mount them. As 
Athenaeus* reports, also Theophrastus* asserts that 
those living in the country are more prone to the sex 
than those raised in poultry pen. But, since we have 
shortage of those living in country, it is interesting for 
us also to know who are the more salacious among 
them. Since first of all the farmer ought to obtain 
such birds in order to promote births. You will 
recognize them among others as follows. According 
to Varro*, they are brawny, with red and upright 
comb, a short, sturdy, sharp beak, tawny or black 
eyes, red wattles, variegated neck, well feathered 
thighs - legs or tibiotarsus, long toes, big tail, and 
plenty of feathers. Furthermore hens are of equal 
lustiness. 

Julius Caesar Scaliger* called rooster a salacious 
husband, hen a longing female. Albertus* reports that 
at night the hen with more desire for sex roosts very 
close beside the cock, but according to the quotation 
of Athenaeus, Theophrastus asserts that the 
difference between their lusts lies in this: the male 
becomes aroused as soon as he rises himself from 
bedding, while the females become more aroused late 
in the day. As Aristotle writes, the manner of their 
copulation consists in the hen crouching on the 
ground and in the rooster mounting on her. 



379 Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 382: Ov tfjV pivot eyiCOlAov E^OVXEC, Tot Ttpo TOU psTCOTtOU Ttepicpepf), 
tf|v 8s Ttepupepeiav avco aveaTrpcmav, Adyvov, avacpepetcu eitl rove, cAsictpuovac;, Aristot. in Physiognom. hoc est, ut 
innominatus quidam transfert: Quicunque nasum concavum habent, et frontem rotundam, et sursum eminens rotundum, luxuriosi, 
refertur ad gallos. Adamantius nihil tale habet. - Pseudo Aristotele* Physiognomonica 811a. 

380 Anstotle H. A. 9.49.631b 15. (Lind, 1963) 

381 Deipnosophistai IX,46,391e. 

382 Aldrovandi ha praticato qualche piccolo taglio assolutamente non esiziale al testo del Rerum rusticarum 111,9 di Varrone che suona 
cosi: Gallos salaces qui animadvertunt, si sunt lacertosi, rubenti crista, rostro brevi pleno acuto, oculis ravis aut nigris, palea rubra 
subalbicanti, collo vario aut aureolo, feminibus pilosis, cruribus brevibus, unguibus longis, caudis magnis, frequentibus pinnis;[...] 

383 Spero si tratti di un errore tipografico e non di Aldrovandi. Altrimenti questa piccola frase sarebbe in netta contrapposizione con 
la gallina salax matrix che viene immediatamente dopo. 

384 J. C. Scaliger, In Ata. This cryptic reference seems to mean Scaliger's "works on Aristotle's "writings but cannot be identified from 
the British Museum or Bibliotheque nationale catalogs. (Lind, 1963) 

385 Historia animalium V,2 539b 28-33: Vi sono pero certe differenze anche fra gli uccelli: in certi casi il maschio monta sulla femmina 
che si e accovacciata a terra (cosi le otarde e i galli), in altri la femmina non si accovaccia (ad esempio le gru, nelle quali il maschio 
compie il coito balzando sulla femmina, e l'accoppiamento risulta altrettanto rapido che quello dei piccoli passeri). (traduzione di 
Mario Vegetti) 

386 Historia animalium VI,2 560b 7-11: In generale, le femmine degli uccelli si consumano e si ammalano se non covano. Dopo 
l'accoppiamento esse arruffano le piume e si scuotono, e spesso gettano festuche tutto attorno (la stessa cosa fanno talvolta anche 
dopo la posa), mentre le colombe trascinano al suolo la coda e le oche si tuffano in acqua. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) - 
Aldrovandi ha stravolto il testo di Aristotele tralasciando che dopo l'accoppiamento si scuotono, cosa che ognuno di noi puo 



80 



coitu: et saepe etiam festuca aliqua sese lustrant, 
quod idem et edito ovo saepe faciunt 387 . Plinius 
avibus omnibus duobus tantum modis coitum 
esse ait, faemina ita, ut dixi, considente humi, aut 
stante, ut in Gruibus 388 . Post coitum Gallma sese 
excutit, ut idem Anstoteles tradit, quod ideo 
facit, docente Alberto, quod per libidinem 
incitetur in ea vapor, qui membra illius extendit, 
eodem modo, ut pandiculatione homines corripi 
videmus, quando coeundi desideno languent. 
Quae ratio naturalis, ac philosophica est, maxime 
in lis, quae sponte marem admittunt. 



Cum vero nimia salacitas Galli, quae simul cum 
nimia rixosa libidine coniuncta a Columella vitio 
vertatur, quoniam pullificationi noxia est, itaque 
eiusmodi procacitas potius quam salacitas 
corrigenda est, corrigitur autem ampullaceo 
corio 389 , cuius in orbiculum formati media pars 
rescinditur, et per excisam partem Galli pes 
inseritur, quo veluti compede cohibentur feri 
mores. Si omnino a coitu abstinere velis, poteris 
verbena uti, quam nonnulli quo quo modo Gallo 
applicatam efficere tradunt, ut Gallmas 
supervenire nequeant. Kiranides eandem herbam 
ad eundem effectum dan ei praecipit in pastum 
una cum furfure, et polenta. Idem promittit, si 
Cmaed<i>us 390 lapis cum polenta exhibeatur, qui 
edent, Cmaedum futurum, sed penes Kiranidem 
eius rei fides esto. 



Videamus modo, quid commodi nobis Gallorum 
coitus praestet, quod sane exiguum cuiquam 
viden posset, quando Gallmae absque eorum 



According to him, after coitus the hens ruffle up their 
feathers: and often purify themselves with a straw, 
and often they do the same thing after they laid the 
egg. Pliny says that in all birds the coitus takes place 
only in two ways, the female, as I said, crouching on 
the ground, or standing as in cranes. After coitus the 
hen shakes herself, as Aristotle himself relates, and, as 
Albertus is teaching, she does this because through 
the lechery in her the vital heat is stirred which 
extends her limbs, alike we see the humans twisting 
and stretching like during a yawn when they are 
bursting to have sexual intercourse. This is a natural 
and philosophical explanation, especially in those 
females who on their own initiative yield themselves 
to the male. 

Since a too much lust of the rooster joined with a too 
much quarrelsome lechery is considered a damage by 
Columella* since it is harmful to procreation, 
therefore such insolence, rather than sexual desire, is 
to be corrected, and it is corrected by means of 
leather from skin bottle, and after it has been shaped 
in a round piece, its middle part is cut back, and the 
leg of the rooster is let through the cut out area, and 
thanks to this, as if it were shackles, his aggressive 
habits are curbed. If you wish him to abstain 
completely from coition you can use the verbena* 
which some people say to be effective however it is 
applied to the rooster, so they cannot mount on hens. 
Kiranides* advises that, in order to obtain the same 
effect, that same herb be given him in his feed 
together with bran and barley polenta. The same 
author assures that if a cinaedus* stone is given with 
barley polenta, the rooster who will have eaten it will 
become a cinaedus, but let the belief in this matter 
rest with Kiranides. 

Let us now see what advantage the copulation of 
roosters provides for us, even if to somebody it may 
seem undoubtedly slight, since hens lay eggs without 



sistematicamente osservare, e dice clie spesso fanno la stessa cosa dopo aver deposto l'uovo, il che non e vero, come dimostra 
anche la citazione di Gessner in cui troviamo interdum al posto di saepe. Conrad Gessner Historic! animalium III (1555) pag. 415: 
Inhorrescunt a coitu, ac se excutiunt, saepe etiam festuca aliqua sese lustrant, quod idem et {a} edito ovo interdum faciunt, Aristot. 

387 Plinio "Naturalis historia X,116: Villaribus gallinis et religio inest. Inhorrescunt edito ovo excutiuntque sese et circumactae 
purificant aut festuca aliqua sese et ova lustrant. 

388 plinio Naturalis historia X,143: Coitus avibus duobus modis, femina considente humi, ut in gallinis, aut stante, ut in gruibus. 

389 Columella De re rustica VIII,2,15: Inpedienda est itaque procacitas eius anpullaceo corio, quod cum in orbiculum formatum est, 
media pars eius rescinditur, et per excisam partem galli pes inseritur, eaque quasi compede cohibentur feri mores. Sed, ut proposui, 
iam de tutela generis universi praecipiam. - Bisogna dunque impedire la loro procacita con un vecchio cuoio da otre: se ne fanno dei 
tondini che si forano nel mezzo e nel foro si fan passare le zampe del gallo, e con questa specie di impedimento si frena la loro 
ferocia. Ma ormai, come ho promesso, daro pochi precetti intorno ai modo di tenere tutti questi animali. (traduzione di Rosa 
Calzecchi Onesti) 

390 L'aggettivo suona cinaedius. In Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 406 leggiamo: Idem si cinaedius lapis gallo 
detur cum polenta, cinaedum futurum scribit. - Cinaedius proviene da Plinio Naturalis historia XXXVII,153: Cinaediae inveniuntur in 
cerebro piscis eiusdem nominis, candidae et oblongae eventuque mirae, si modo est fides praesagire eas habitum maris nubili vel 
tranquilli. 



81 



opere panant ova, sed cum istaec generationi 
mepta smt, totam pullificationem Gallis 
acceptam referre debemus. Concipiunt itaque 
Gallinae duobus modis, vel ex congressu cum 
Gallo, vel per sese. Quae posteriori modo 
generantur ova, irrita, subventanea, et 
hypenemia 391 dicuntur, quoniam e vento 
concepta credantur 392 . Hoc enim ex vetenbus 
non Varro tantum, sed ipsemet Aristoteles, et 
inter recentiores Albertus memoriae 
prodiderunt. In Fusitania, inquit Varro 393 , ad 
Oceanum monte Fagro quaedam e vento certo tempore 
concipiunt equae, ut hie Gallinae quoque solent, quarum 
ova hypenemia appellant. Aristoteles, et Albertus ex 
peculiari vento, Zephyro nempe, concipi velle 
videtur. Sunt qui hypenemia, inquit ille 394 , hoc est, 
subventaneos illos partus Zephyria nominent, eo quod 
verno tempore flatus illos faecundos ex Favonio recipere 
tideantur. Zephyria ova concipiunt autumno, inquit hie, 
flante Austrino vento. Hie enim aiium corpora aperit, et 
humectat, et faecundat. Autumno autem abundat in eis 
sicca ventositas. Aliae vero ova venti concipiunt vers, 
receptions venti Austrini. Haec Albertus, et alibi, 
nulla nee tempons peculiaris, nee Zephyn 
mentione facta, causam adducens, cur ita 
conciperent, hunc fere in modum ait. Ova venti in 
avibus concipiuntur ex vento maxime. Kara enim corpora 
habent, et aerea, et hcum ani, per quern concipiunt, vento 
expositum, itaque vento ad libi£nem moventur, sicut 
etiam mulieres Austro matricem aperientes delectantur, 
unde menstruus sanguis attrahitur. Fit autem hoc 
frequenter in aiibus propter volatum, et continuum 
caudae motum, propter quern attrahitur semen ad 
matricem earum. Hactenus Albertus. Quibus certe 
vento quidem, sed cuicunque eiusmodi ova 
accepta ferenda esse innuit, Zephyrum tamen id 
potius praestare minime negat. Eum enim prae 
caeteris poros apenre constat, ldque alibi 
ostenderat. 



their intervention, but since such eggs are unable to 
give birth, we must ascribe the whole offspring's 
creation as due to the roosters. Then, hens conceive 
in two ways, either mating with the rooster or by 
themselves. The eggs generated by the latter way are 
called sterile, windy and full of wind - hypenemia - since 
they are believed to be conceived because of the wind. 
This fact not only Varro among the ancients but 
Aristotle himself, and Albertus among later scholars, 
have handed down. In Fusitania, says Varro, on mount 
Fagms* near the ocean some mares conceive at a certain time 
for the wind, as here - in Italy - also hens are accustomed to do, 
whose eggs they call full of wind. It seems that the opinion 
of Aristotle and Albertus is that they are conceived 
for a particular wind, and precisely Zephyr*. The 
former says: Fhere are some who call ^ephyrian the 
hypenemia eggs, that is those products of delivery full of wind, 
since it seems that at springtime they receive the fertilising 
breaths from Favonius*. The latter says: In autumn, when 
the Austral wind* blows, they conceive the ^ephyrian eggs. For 
this wind opens the bodies of birds, and moistens them, and 
fecundates them. In fact in autumn a dry windiness abounds in 
them. But other birds conceive windy eggs at springtime, by 
receiving the Austral wind. Thus far Albertus, and 
elsewhere, making no mention of the specific season 
nor of Zephyr, in adducing the reason why they 
conceive in such a way he roughly says as follows: 
Windy eggs in birds are conceived especially by the wind. For 
they have light bodies and full of wind, and the position of the 
anus through which they conceive is exposed to the wind, that's 
why they are stirred by the wind to lust, as also women delight 
to open their wombs to the Austral wind, whence their 
menstrual blood is compelled to go out. F his frequently happens 
in birds because of flight and the continual motion of tail, by 
which the semen is attracted to their wombs. Thus far 
Albertus. He points out by these words that such eggs 
must be meant as undoubtedly due to the wind, but to 
a whatever wind, he does not, however, deny at all 
that preferably it is Zephyr which produces that. For 
it is clear that it is which opens the ducts more than 



391 L'aggettivo greco UTtrjVSpvoq e composto da h%6 = sotto e CCV8|IO<; = vento. 

392 Ecco il relativo testo di Plinio Naturalis historia X,160: Et ipsae autem inter se, si mas non sit, feminae aeque saliunt pariuntque 
ova inrita, ex quibus nihil gignitur, quae hypenemia Graeci vocant. - Delle cavalle ne parla in VIIL166: Constat in Lusitania circa 
Olisiponem oppidum et Tagum amnem equas favonio flante obversas animalem concipere spiritum, idque partum fieri et gigni 
pernicissimum ita, sed triennium vitae non excedere. 

393 Secondo l'edizione del De re rustka della UTET, la frase completa di Varrone contenuta in 11,1 e la seguente: In fetura res 
incredibilis est in Hispania, sed est vera, quod in Lusitania ad oceanum in ea regione, ubi est oppidum Olisipo, monte Tagro 
quaedam e vento concipiunt certo tempore equae, ut hie gallinae quoque solent, quarum ova hypenemia appellant. 

394 Historia animalium VI,2 559b 5-9: Le uova che alcuni chiamano kynosoura o «sterili» compaiono piu spesso d'estate. Certi poi 
chiamano le uova sterili «zefirine», perche e in primavera che le femmine degli uccelli recepiscono i venti tiepidi; si ha lo stesso 
effetto anche quando le si palpa con la mano in un certo modo. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) - De generatione animalium 111,1 749a 
34-749b 7: Negli uccelli si formano anche prodotti spontanei, che sono chiamati da alcuni «ventosi» e «di zefiro». Essi si hanno negli 
uccelli che non volano e non hanno le unghie ricurve, ma sono prolifici, perche sono dovuti all'abbondanza del residuo (negli 
uccelli dalle unghie ricurve invece siffatta secrezione e volta alle ali e alle piume, e il loro corpo e piccolo, asciutto e caldo) e perche 
la secrezione mestruale e lo sperma sono un residuo. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 



82 



the others, and he will declare this in another passage. 



Page 208 



Nee llli adversatur Aristo teles 395 , eiusmodi 
conceptum [208] nulla facta venti mentione 
materiae excrementitiae acceptum referens, ubi 
causam reddit, quod uncae subventanea non 
panant: subventanei, inquiens, conceptus in iis fiunt 
aiibus, quae non volaces sunt, ut uncae, sed multiparae 
(tales autem Gallinae sunt) quod excremento ipsae 
abundant: uncis in alas, et pennas id vertitur, corpusque 
exiguum caRdum, et siccum habetur. Decessus autem 
menstruorum, et genitura excrementum sunt. Et paulo 
post 396 , Fiunt subventanea ova, quoniam materia 
seminalis in faemina est, nee menstruorum discessio fit 
aiibus, ut viiiparis sanguine praeditis. Volacibus autem 
non gignuntur, scilicet eadem causa, qua neque multa ab 
iis ipsis generantur. Uncunguibus enim parum excrementi 
inest, et marem desiderant ad excrementi commotionem. 
Etenim cum ex materiae abundantia hypenemia 
ova generari etiam ex propria sententia hie dicat, 
non est quod prius allata ems verba nobis 
{negotium} <negotium> facessant. Ea enim 
nominis etymum tantum testantur. Itaque lllic 
causam efficientem, hie matenalem assignat. 



Haud improbo etiam Plinn 397 sententiam, qui 
mutua inter se libidinis imaginatione ova talia 
concipere dixit. Omnino etenim verisimile est, 
seminalis materiae redundantiam mgentem 
pruntum, ac titillationem in partibus gemtalibus 
excitare, unde postmodum sese concepisse 
imaginentur, maxime si altera faemella, ut 
quandoque fit, alteram meat. Quod vero Plmius 
addit et pulvere concipere: id, ut videtur, ex 
Graeco aliquo authore mutuatus est. Graeci 
quidem 6ccpr|V turn pulverem vocant, turn 
tactum, turn contrectationem. Cum vero et 
Gallinae eiusmodi ova manu contrectatae, teste 



And Aristotle* does not set himself against him - 
Albertus* - when ascribing this kind of conception as 
due to secretory matter without any mention of the 
wind, since he adduces as reason the fact that hook- 
nailed birds do not lay windy eggs, when he says: 
windy concptions take place in those birds which are not flyers, 
such on the contrary they are the hook-nailed ones, but in those 
who lay many eggs (such are in fact the hens) being that 
thy have abundance of secretion: in hook-nailed ones it is 
directed to wings and feathers, and a small, warm and dry body 
is present in them. For the menstrual flow and the seminal 
liquid are a secretion. And a little later: Wind-eggs are 
created because there is the seminal material in the female, and 
no menstmalflow occurs in birds, as on the contrary it occurs in 
liiiparous creatures endowed with blood. <...> They are not 
produced by flying birds, evidently because of the same reason 
why they do not lay many eggs. For there is little secretion in 
hook-clawed birds, and they need the male in order to set the 
secretion in motion. Even though he says here that also 
according to his own opinion wind-eggs are generated 
from an abundance of matter, there is no reason why 
his earlier words should trouble us. For they testify 
only to the etymon of the word. Thus in the former 
passage he assigns the efficient cause, in the latter 
passage the material cause. 

I do not disapprove of Pliny's* opinion too, who said 
that they conceive such eggs by a mutual lecherous 
imagination among themselves. For it is quite likely 
that the great abundance of seminal matter excites an 
enormous itching and tickling in the genital parts, 
whence they later imagine that they themselves 
conceived, especially if a female mounts another one, 
as sometimes happens. What Pliny adds, that they also 
conceive by the dust; it seems he borrowed this 
statement from some Greek author. For the Greeks 
call haphen either the dust, or the touch, or the 
palpation. Since, according to Aristotle and Oppian of 
Apamea*, also hens lay such eggs when touched by a 



395 De generatione animalium 111,1, 749a 34-749b 7: Negli uccelli si formano anche prodotti spontanei, che sono chiamati da alcuni 
«ventosi» e «di zefiro». Essi si hanno negli uccelli che non volano e non hanno le unghie ricurve, ma sono prolifici, perche sono 
dovuti all'abbondanza del residuo (negli uccelli dalle unghie ricurve invece siffatta secrezione e volta alle ali e alle piume, e il loro 
corpo e piccolo, asciutto e caldo) e perche la secrezione mestruale e lo sperma sono un residuo. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 

396 De generatione animalium 111,1, 750a 3-7; b 3-21 (passim): Le uova sterili si formano, si e anche gia detto, perche nella femmina e 
presente la materia seminale, ma negli uccelli non si produce la secrezione mestruale come nei sanguigni vivipari.f...] Gli uccelli che 
volano non hanno uova sterili per la stessa causa per la quale non sono neppure multipari: il residuo degli uccelli dalle unghie 
ricurve e scarso ed essi necessitano del maschio che ecciti l'escrezione del residuo. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 

397 Naturalis historia X,166: Inrita ova, quae hypenemia diximus, aut mutua feminae inter se libidinis imaginatione concipiunt aut 
pulvere, nee columbae tantum, sed et gallinae, perdices, pavones, anseres, chenalopeces. Sunt autem sterilia et minora ac minus 
iucundi saporis et magis umida. Quidam et vento putant ea generari, qua de causa etiam zephyria appellant. Urina autem vere 
tantum fiunt incubatione derelicta, quae alii cynosura dixere. 



83 



Aristotele 398 et Oppiano 399 pariant, dubitandum 
videretur, numquid Plinius in translatione illius 
dictionis hallucinatus fuerit. Attamen cum contra 
afferri potest, dcpr|V non simpliciter pulverem, 
sed ilium praecipue, quo pal<a>estritae post 
unctionem mspergebantur, significare, ut 
Budaeus annotavit: et cum pulveratrices smt 
Gallmae, et pulveratio quoque contrectatio 
quaedam, et affricatio sit: hoc quoque modo 
sterilia huiusmodi ova ab eis concipi posset sit 
verisimile. 

Erant Aristotelis 400 aevo, qui eiusmodi ova 
reliquias partus esse crederent, quas coitus 
fecerit; sed hos llle hallucinari ex eo ostendit, 
quod multae Gallmae iuvencae nunquam Galium 
expertae ova pariant. Eiusmodi ova, etsi alioqui 
omnes partes videbantur habere, manimata esse, 
et ad generationem mepta, et dicit Aristo teles 401 , 
et experientia quotidiana observamus, quoniam 
principio carent, quod a maris semine affertur. 
Reddi tamen foecunda posse alibi 402 docet, si 
Gallma, quae ea lam concepit, coeat nondum 
mutato ovo ex luteo in album. At si lam 
candidum acceperunt humorem, fieri non posse, 
ut in foecunda mutentur. Verum eiuscemodi 
doctrina ipsi Aristoteli videtur adversari: 
quoniam si ex albumme, ut ipse alibi docet, et 
experientia comprobat, pullus generetur, cur non 
post supervemens Gallus id vivificum reddat, 
quando ipsum luteum ambit? Facilius enim 
albumini quam luteo commisceri posse quis non 
videt? Quod si lam membranam utrumque 
ambisse, semenque iniectum per earn excludi 
obijcias, id nihil obesse ex eodem Aristotele 403 



hand, it would seem a matter of doubt whether by 
chance Pliny made a mistake when translating that 
word. Nevertheless, since one can object that haphen is 
not simply meaning dust, but overall that which 
wrestlers were sprinkling on themselves after rubbing 
with oil, as Guillaume Bude* annotated: and since 
hens are dust-bathers and also a dust-bath is a kind of 
touching and rubbing, it is likely that sterile eggs of 
this kind can be conceived by them also in this 
fashion. 



In the time of Aristotle some people believed that 
such eggs were the remains of the delivery and that 
copulation created them, but he shows that they were 
mistaken by the fact that many young hens who never 
experienced with a rooster lay eggs. That eggs of this 
kind are lifeless and unfit for generation although in 
other respects they may seem to have all their parts, 
also Aristotle is saying this, and we observe this 
through daily experience, since they lack the principle 
ascribed to the semen of the male. Elsewhere he says 
that however they can be rendered fertile if the hen 
who has already conceived them should copulate 
while the egg has not yet changed from yellow to 
white. But if they have already received the white 
liquid it cannot occur that they turn fertile. This 
theory seems, however, to clash with Aristotle: since 
if the chick is generated from the albumen, as he 
himself elsewhere teaches and as experience proves, 
why a treading rooster afterwards does not render it 
able to give birth when it surrounds the yolk itself? 
For who does not see that it can more easily mingle 
with albumen rather than with yolk? Since, if one 
should object that the membrane already wrapped up 



398 Historia animalium VI,2, 560a 5-9: Le uova clie alcuni chiamano kynosoura o «sterili» compaiono piu spesso d'estate. Certi poi 
chiamano le uova sterili «zefirine», perche e in primavera clie le femmine degli uccelli recepiscono i venti tiepidi; si ha lo stesso 
effetto anche quando le si palpa con la mano in un certo modo. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

399 Ixeutica (Aldrovandi) . 

400 Historia animalium VI,2 559b 21-24: Coloro che affermano clie le uova sterili sono residui delle uova precedentemente prodotte 
in seguito a copulazione, non dicono il vero: vi sono ormai sufficienti osservazioni relative a giovani galline e oche che hanno 
deposto uova sterili senza essersi mai accoppiate. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) - De generatione animalium 111,1 751a 9-13: Per questo 
alcuni sono soliti dire delle uova sterili che non si producono da se, ma sono resti di una precedente copula. Ma cio e falso: si e 
constatato sufficientemente sia per la gallina sia per l'oca giovani che si sono prodotte uova sterili senza coito. (traduzione di Diego 
Lanza) 

401 De generatione animalium 11,3 737a 1-7: Percio il fuoco non e in grado di generare alcun animale e non risulta che se ne componga 
alcuno neppure nelle sostanze infuocate, in quelle umide o in quelle secche. II calore del sole invece e quello degli animali, non solo 
quello agente attraverso lo sperma, ma anche qualsiasi altro residuo della loro natura, possiede un principio vitale. E dunque chiaro 
da questi argomenti che il calore insito negli animali ne e fuoco ne dal fuoco trae il suo principio. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 

402 De generatione animalium 1,21 730a 4-9: Qualora una gallina stia per produrre uova sterili, se essa si accoppia quando l'uovo non e 
ancora passato dall'essere completamente giallo all'essere bianco, le uova da sterili diventano feconde; se poi essa si accoppia a un 
altro gallo, quando l'uovo e ancora giallo, allora tutta la covata e conforme all'ultimo che si e accoppiato. (traduzione di Diego 
Lanza) 

403 De generatione animalium 1,21 730a 18-23: Lo stesso accade nella riproduzione dei pesci ovipari. Quando la femmina depone le 
uova, il maschio ci versa sopra il suo seme: diventano feconde le uova di cui esso giunge a contatto, restano sterili le altre; 
presupposto di questo e che il contributo del maschio non e nella quantita, ma nella qualita. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 



84 



rursus probo, qui ova piscium iam exclusa etiam, 
post a mare iniecto super ea semine foecunda 
reddi assent. 



Et, ut de Gallina dicamus, Albertus author est, 
semen Galli, quando in matrice ovum venti 
reperit, aliqua ex parte, aut etiam omnino praeter 
testam, et pellem completum, huic non coniungi 
tantum, sed totum ovum etiam foecundum 
reddere. Quod forte post videns longe aliter 
docet Aristoteles, dum avem, quae ovum coitu 
conceptum gent, si cum alio mare coient, simile 
eius, quocum postea coivit, omne pullorum 
genus excludere statuit, ideoque nonnullos, qui, 
ut Gallmae generosae procreentur, operam dant, 
ita mutatis admissariis facere, tanquam maris semen, 
mquit 404 , sua facilitate materiam contentam in faemina 
qualitate tantum affciat, non etiam misceatur, 
constitutionemque subeat. Quibus verbis aperte 
concludit, ex ovis conceptis postenons coitus 
specimen prae se fene, sed de luteo non 
meminit. Nam si semen vitae primordia albumini 
subministrare debebat, necessario etiam ei 
commisceri necesse erat, quod Albertus 
faemmae sperma vi matncis, ac testium ad ovi 
substantiam attractum vocare non est veritus. 
Caeterum, quae coivit Gallina, vel alia quaevis 
volucns ovum concipit superius ad septum 
transversum: ubi pnmo minutum, et candidum 
cernitur, ut Aristoteles alibi tradit, mox rubrum 
cruentumque, demde mcrescens luteum, et 
flavum efficitur totum: iam amplius auctum 
discernitur, ita ut intus pars lutea sit, fons 
Candida ambiat: ubi perfectum est, absolvitur, 
atque exit putamme, dum paritur, mo Hi, sed 
protinus durescente, quibuscunque emergit 
portionibus, nisi vitio vulvae defecerit. 



Atque istaec est doctrina Anstotelica, sed mirum 
quod uteri non meminerit, in quo tamen ovum 
perficitur, etsi extra eum pnmo propnae 
substantiae habeat rudimenta, sed formam 
absolutissimam in eo recipit. Locus itaque 
inchoationis, quae ab Anstotelis mterprete 
conceptio dicitur, est ventris mferions superior, 



both and that the semen injected through it is 
excluded, once more I find confirmation from 
Aristotle himself that this does not hinder at all, who 
asserts that the already laid eggs of fishes are 
afterwards rendered fertile by the semen sprayed 
upon them by the male. 

And, to speak of the hen, Albertus declares that the 
rooster's semen when finds a wind-egg in the womb, 
complete in some its parts or quite complete except 
for shell and shell's membranes, not only joins with 
the egg but even renders it entirely fertile. Perhaps, 
analyzing this a posteriori, Aristotle explains this in a 
quite different manner, since he stated that a bird 
carrying an egg conceived by coitus, if it will mate 
with another male, there will hatch a variety of chicks 
similar to that one it mated with afterwards, and that 
therefore some people, in order that prolific hens are 
generated, with the change of mounting males spare 
no efforts to obtain as result, he says, that the semen of the 
male by its faculty affects the material contained in the female 
only with regard to the quality, not even mixing with it and 
taking place of its composition. By these words he clearly 
demonstrates that he is adducing a proof from the 
eggs conceived by a subsequent coition, but he does 
not mention the yolk. For if the semen had to pass on 
to the albumen the principles of the life, it had also to 
be mixed with it, since Albertus did not hesitate to 
define the semen of the female as attracted toward the 
egg's substance by the force of uterus and testicles. 
On the other hand the hen who mated, or any other 
bird, first conceives the egg near the transverse 
septum: where at the beginning it appears small and 
snow-white, as elsewhere Anstotle says, afterwards 
red and blood-spotted, then as it grows it becomes 
entirely yellow and golden: when it is larger it can be 
seen with the inner part which is yellow, the white 
part is at the periphery: when it is completed, it is 
delivered, and while it is laid it issues forth with a soft 
shell, but soon growing hard, and it issues forth with 
whatever parts unless it is imperfect because of an 
uterus' malformation. 

And this is the theory of Aristotle, but it is strange 
that he did not mention the uterus in which 
nonetheless the egg is perfected, although outside it 
the egg is firstly in possession of the first principles of 
its proper essence, but the egg receives its perfect 
form in it. Therefore the place of the rudiment, which 
by Anstotle's translator is called conception, is the 



404 De generatione animalium 1,20 729a: Col che e anche chiaro che il liquido seminale non proviene da tutto il corpo: ne potrebbero 
secernersi dalla stessa parte gia separati, ne, affluiti insieme nell'utero, li separarsi; ma accade cio che peraltro e logico: poiche il 
maschio apporta la forma e il principio del mutamento, e la femmina il corpo e la materia, come nella cagliatura del latte il corpo e 
dato dal latte, mentre il succo di fico o il siero sono l'elemento che possiede il principio costitutivo, cosi e anche di cio che, 
provenendo dal maschio, si suddivide nella femmina. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 



85 



ac media pars ad septum transversum. Dixit 
enim 405 , faeminae condpiunt ova ad septum 
transversum. Hoc autem addimus nos ex 
anatomica inspectione esse supra ipsam spinam 
ad divaricationem vasorum, quae in crura 
descendunt. 



upper part of the lower abdomen and the middle one 
near the transverse septum. For he said, females conceive 
eggs near the transverse septum. I add from anatomical 
inspection that this place is in front of the spine near 
the fork of blood vessels descending to legs. 



Page 209 



Locus [209] vero perfectionis est ipse uterus, 
cuius forma, ut diximus, plunmum differt ab 
utero viviparorum. Seminis situm in albumme 
potius, quam in vitello esse, exPhilosopho etiam 
manifesto colligitur, cum pnncipium gemtale 
maris in ovo ea parte secerni scnbat, qua ovum 
utero adhaeret. Nemo enim vitellum utero 
adhaerere dicat, cum id ab albumme ambiatur, ut 
paulo ante ex ipso Aristotele diximus. 



Cum vero eiusmodi ovorum conceptio 
admirandum sane naturae artificium demonstret, 
adeo ut nisi quis ipse speculetur, vix mente id 
concipere queat, quomodo ova, ut diximus sub 
septo concepta extra uterum in hunc decidant, 
augeantur, ac perfecta evadant: itaque communis 
studios orum utilitatis causa aliquot Gallmas 
Excellentissimo D.M. Antonio Ulmo secandas 
exhibui, qui quinque hisce iconibus totum 
eiusmodi {negocium} <negotium> clarissime 
speculandum omnibus proposuit. 



The place of egg's completion is the uterus itself, 
whose structure differs widely, as I said, from that of 
the uterus of viviparous animals. From the 
Philosopher* one can also clearly deduce that the 
location of the semen is in the albumen rather than in 
the yolk, since he writes that the genital principle of 
the male is secreted in the egg in that portion with 
which the egg adheres to the uterus. For no one dare 
to say that the yolk of the egg adheres to the uterus 
since it is surrounded by the albumen, as I said a short 
time before when I was deducing this from Aristotle 
himself. 

But since such a conception of eggs really shows the 
marvelous ability of Nature, to such a degree that, 
unless one investigates it by himself, barely he could 
formulate with his mind how the eggs, conceived 
under the septum, as I said, and outside of the uterus 
into which are falling, they can increase in size and get 
out completed: therefore for the common advantage 
of students I provided the most excellent Mr. Marco 
Antonio Olmo* with some hens to be dissected, who 
by these five pictures allowed every people to explore 
entirely such a matter in a very clear way. 



405 Historia animalium VI,2 559b 7-8: Lo sperma di tutti gli uccelli e bianco, al pari di quello degli altri animali. Dopo il coito, la 
femmina lo fa salire verso il diaframma. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) - OTCtV S'o^SuOr], avco TtpOC, TO UTtO^COpa Aap(3dvsv r| 
OqAsva. 



86 




AA Ova septo transverso subnexa. 

AA Eggs gathered up under the transverse septum. 

BB Pnncipium mtestim utenni ova a spina decidua 
primo excipiens. 

BB The beginning of the oviduct - infundibulum - 
which first receives the eggs falling from the region 
of the spine. 



CC Pnmi uteri ipsius extensi loculi, in quibus 
ovum paulo post magnitudmem suam 
{consequuturum} <consecuturum> albugmis a 
croceo secretionem subit. 

CC The first enlarged sac of the oviduct itself — 
magnum - where the egg, which soon after will 
attain its proper size, undergoes the separation of 
albumen from yolk. 

DD Secundi, in quo plene a luteo albumme 
separato lustam ovum acquint molem. 
DD The second enlarged sac of the oviduct — 
isthmus - in which, with the albumen fully distinct 
from the yolk, the egg acquires its proper size. 

EE Tertia uteri cellula, in qua testa ovi duntiem 

acquint. 

EE The third cavity of the oviduct — uterus - in 

which the egg shell acquires its hardness. 

HH Onficium vulvae extremum patulum, per 

quod ovo perfecto exitus. 

HH The open lower orifice of the genital 

apparatus through which the egg issues when 

completed. 

F Oris nma. 

F The crevice of the outer opening. 

G Inversorum orificii labrorum rugae ac plicae in 

orbem musculi ductae, qui sphinctens officio 

fungitur. 

G Wrinkles and folds of the lips of the orifice 

turned inside, arranged on the muscular ring which 

performs the function of a sphincter. 

II Septum transversum. 
II Transverse septum. 

K Ventriculus. 
K Stomach. 



Prior icon ovorum sub septo conceptorum 
magnitudmem, et locum, per quern in 
uterum descendunt, item in quo luteum ab 
albumine ambitur, necnon etiam ubi testae 
duntiem acquirunt, aliosque demonstrat 
locos generationi destinatos, quos simul 
omnes ex appositis Uteris disces. Alterae tres 
subsequentes istaec fere omnia, sed 
dilucidius ostendunt, nempe qua 
magnitudme ova a septo in matricem 
descendant, necnon et uteri protensionem. 
Ultima solius uteri figura est, demonstratque 
utrumque ems onficium, per quod scilicet 
ova sub septo contenta recipiat, item per 
quod ea postremo excludat. 



The first picture shows the size of the eggs conceived 
under the transverse septum and the structure through 
which they descend to the abdomen and in which the 
yolk is surrounded by the albumen, as well as where they 
acquire the hardness of the eggshell, and it shows the 
other places designed for generation, and you can learn all 
of them together from the letters attached to them. The 
other three following pictures show almost all these 
things but more clearly, and precisely with what size the 
eggs are descending into the oviduct starting from the 
septum, as well as the extension in length of the oviduct. 
The last picture is that of the oviduct alone and shows 
both its orifices, that is, the one through which it receives 
the eggs gathered together under the septum as well as 
that one through which at last they are thrust out. 



87 



Sed ut ad semen Galli revertamur, 
principium nempe ovorum generationis, id 
nostrae mulierculae gallaturam dicunt, 
Aristoteles sperma 406 , non autem ^a\at,av, 
seu \a\dt,iov, quasi aquae guttam dicas in 
aqua congelatam, pro qua voce Theodorus 
Gaza grandinem vertit: est autem duplex 
secundum Aristotelem 407 , una, quae parti 
inferiori ovi est iniecta, maior et ad solem 
obtegente manu apparet extra putamen: 
altera quae parte supenori haeret non 
cernitur nisi fracto putamine, et iniecta parte 
lutei infra. Hanc autem Aristoteles nihil 
conferre putat ad generationem: quae res 
veritati refragan videtur, cum ova quae ea 
carent, omnia mfoecunda sint, quare ego 
earn cum spermate 408 eandem esse credo. 
Pro cuius conservatione natura admodum 
solicita fuit, ovi testam ab ea parte, ubi id 
continetur dunorem generans: ea autem 
acuta est, et postremo etiam exit. Quod enim 
adhaeret id postremo exire convenit, ut 
citato paulo ante Aristoteles loco docet, cum 
et alibi monstrasset, luteum mediam ovi 
partem occupasse, Si quis, mquiens 409 , mpto 
putamine ova plum inpatinam excreta excoquit igne 
molli, et continente, [214] litelli omnes in medium 
coeunt: albumina autem {circumdant} 
<circumdant>, et se in oras constituant. 



But, to go back to the rooster's semen, surely origin of 
eggs' generation, our farm women call itgallatura. Aristotle 
calls it sperm, but not chdla^a — hail - or chalazion — little 
cyst, as you says a drop of frozen water inside the water, a 
word that Theodore Gaza* translates as hail: really 
according to Aristotle it is duplex, one lying towards the 
lower part of the egg - pointed end, which is larger and 
visible beyond the shell when you shields your eyes by the 
hand towards the sun: the other one, clinging to the upper 
part - rounded end, is impossible to be seen unless the 
shell is broken and the portion of the yolk is moved 
downward. But Aristotle thinks this drop doesn't 
contribute to generation at all: it is clear that this 
statement is clashing with the truth, since the eggs lacking 
this part are all infertile, which is why I think it is identical 
with the sperm - embryonic shield or discoblastula*. 
Nature has been quite solicitous for its conservation, 
generating a harder eggshell in that area where it is 
contained: for this area is sharp and also comes out last. 
For it is fitting that what is clinging should go forth last, 
as Aristotle is saying in the just quoted passage, being that 
he also showed elsewhere that the yolk occupies the 
middle part of the egg, saying If after the shells have been 
broken one cooks on a low and continuous heat many eggs set down 
one by one in a pan, all the yolks gather towards the middle: for the 
albumens get themselves around and place themselves at the 
periphery. 



406 p er i a struttura dell'uovo vedi il lessico alia voce Uovo*. 

407 Historia animalium VI,2, 560a 28-29: II bianco e il giallo sono tenuti separati l'uno dall'altro da una membrana. Le calaze che si 
trovano alle estremita del giallo non contribuiscono per nulla alia generazione, come alcuni suppongono; sono due, una in basso e 
una in alto, (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) - II sostantivo femminile ^dAai^a significa grandine; per analogia morfologica significa 
anche nodulo, piccola cisti, orzaiolo. II sostantivo neutro ^aACt^VOV e diminutivo di ^dAai^a e significa piccola cisti. Infatti il 
calazio umano e una neoformazione cistica di carattere benigno che si localizza nello spessore di una palpebra e che si forma in 
conseguenza dell'ipertrofia e degenerazione epiteliale delle ghiandole di Aleibomio. Aleibomius, in tedesco Heinrich Meibom, fu un 
medico ed erudito tedesco (Lubecca 1638 - Helmstedt 1700). Filologo e umanista, e noto soprattutto per la scoperta delle ghiandole 
sebacee situate nelle palpebre, tra il tarso palpebrale e la congiuntiva, e che da lui hanno preso il nome. 

408 Vedi il lessico alia voce Embrione di polio*. 

409 Historia animalium VI,2, 560a: A proposito del giallo e del bianco, awiene anche [560b] questo: toltine un certo numero dai gusci 
e versatili in un recipiente, se li si fa cuocere lentamente, a fiamma bassa, tutto il giallo si concentra in mezzo, e il bianco lo awolge 
tutto intorno. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 



88 



Page 210 
[210] 




a Imtium divaricatae magnae venae, super quam 
ova concipiuntur ipsa nutnentem. 

AA Rami venae cavae utnnque ad crura distributae. 

BB Rami delapsi ad reliquum ventrem inferiorem. 

D Intestina. 

E Uterus protensus. 

F Spina dorsi. 

G Exitus intestini. 

H Uteri os externum. 



a The beginning of the large forked vein nearby 
which the eggs are conceived and by which they are 
nourished. 

AA Branches of the vena cava (hollow vein) 
distributed on both sides to the legs. 

BB Branches passing down to the remainder of the 
lower belly. 

D Intestinal loops. 

E The stretched out oviduct. 

F Spine of the back. 

G The opening of the intestine. 

H External mouth of the oviduct. 



89 



Page 211 
[211] 




A Vulvae os. 

B Exitus intestim. 

CCC Uteri capacitas, idemque protensus. 

D {Mesareon} <Mesentenon> uteri. 

E Mesentenum mtestini 

FF Intestina 

GG Ova sub septo transverso concepta. 

H Septum transversum. 



A The opening of genital apparatus. 

B The opening of intestine. 

CCC The capacity of the oviduct, and the same 
stretched out. 

D Mesentery of the oviduct. 

E Mesentery of the intestine. 

FF Intestinal loops. 

GG Eggs conceived under the transverse septum. 

H The transverse septum. 



90 



Page 212 
[212] 




A Ovum ad primedium uteri albumine et vitello 
distinctum cortice necdum indurate 

FF Intestinum. 

DDD Uterus protensus. 

E Ovum extra uterum sub septo transverso 
haerens. 

C Utere [Uteri] suprema pars quo hiat in ova septo 
transverso adhaerentia. 

G Uteri onficium. 

H Anus. 



A The egg in the uppermost part of the oviduct 
with albumen and yolk separated and with the shell 
not yet hardened. 

FF Intestine. 

DDD The oviduct stretched out. 

E The egg outside the oviduct, clinging under the 
transverse septum. 

C The upper part of the oviduct where it opens 
towards the eggs clinging to the transverse septum. 

G The opening of the oviduct. 

H Anus. 



91 



Page 213 
[213] 




A Os uteri. 

B Uteri corpus ovum cluro putamine tectum 
habens. 

C Uteri protensi pars capacitati eiusdem proxima, 
substantia albicante, paucionbus venis referta. 

D Uteri pars tertia crassior, rubicundior, venis 
plunmis intertexta. 

EEE {Mesareon} <Mesenterion> Uteri. 

F Pars suprema uteri protensi praetenuis, hians ad 
loca ovorum sub septo transverso. 

GG Ova sub septo transverso concepta. 

aa Ova tenella venulis distincta. 

AA Pedunculus, quo ovum spmae haeret. 



A The opening of the oviduct. 

B The body of the uterus holding an egg covered 
with a hard shell. 

C Part of the stretched out oviduct whose capacity 
is close to that of uterus, made of a whitish 
substance, rich in fewer veins. 

D The larger, more reddish third part of the 
oviduct, interwoven with very many veins. 

EEE Mesentery of the oviduct. 

F The uppermost very thin part of the stretched 
out oviduct, opening toward the places of the eggs 
under the transverse septum. 

GG Eggs conceived under the transverse septum. 

aa Still young eggs adorned with little veins. 

AA The little stem with which the egg clings to the 
spine. 



92 



Albertus, atque ipsemet Aristoteles sane 
nostram opimonem non parum tueri videntur, 
cum vitellum ab albumme tunica propria 
separan tradant, et versus partes naturales pulli 
situm, et a spintualibus ems remotum. 
Spintualia autem ex maris semine sunt. Si ergo 
a spintualibus vitellus separatus est, semine 
expertem esse necesse est. Sunt autem ovi 
tunicae tres 410 , eisdem authonbus, una vitellum 
continens, secunda albumen, quae est tanquam 
pia mater: tertia testae adhaerens, tanquam 
dura meninx. Prima tunica intra testam ovi 
substantiam a testa defendit: secunda, quae 
mollior est, et albumen continet in pulli 
generatione secundarum loco est, et pullum 
complectitur: tertia vitellum ambit. Inter 
pnmam et secundam humor quidam crudus 
nascitur, qui excernitur, dum formatur 
pullus {:}<.> Alibi etiam Albertus apertissimis 
verbis, semmis situm pertmgere scnbit, per 
totum albumen, usque ad vitellum, huicque 
versus partem acutiorem ovi infigi ldque ego in 
sectione ovi unum diem mcubati observavi. 
Denique ipsemet iterum Aristoteles 411 incoepta 
ova, si adhuc parvis coitus desient, non 
accrescere testatur, sed si continuetur, 
{caetera} 412 incremento augen, iustamque 
magnitudmem implere. Ova autem dum adhuc 
parva sunt, lutea esse ex eodem diximus, et in 
sectione etiam videmus. 



Sed quaeret forsan aliquis, quomodo cum 
caetera animalia per umbilicum cibum capiant, 
ova nutriantur; non enim vermium modo per 
se incrementum recipere verisimile est. Id 
aperte docet Aristoteles 413 fieri per 



Page 214 

Truly it seems that Albertus* and Aristotle* himself are 
supporting my opinion not a little, since they report that 
the yolk is separated from the albumen by a proper 
tunic - vitelline membrane, and it is situated toward the 
vital parts of the chick and lies faraway from its 
respiratory parts. On the other hand the respiratory 
components arise from the semen of the male. 
Therefore if the yolk is separated from the respiratory 
parts it must be devoid of semen. According to those 
same authors, there are further on three tunics of the 
egg, one containing the yolk, a second one containing 
the albumen and which is likewise the pia mater, a third 
one adhering to the shell like the hard meninx - dura 
mater. The first tunic inside the shell defends the 
substance of the egg from the shell: the second one, 
which is softer and holds the albumen, in the generation 
of the chick plays the role of the placenta, and wraps up 
the chick: the third one surrounds the yolk. Between the 
first and second tunic a certain undigested fluid is 
created, which is secreted while the chick is being 
formed. Albertus elsewhere also writes in the clearest 
language that the distribution of the semen extends 
through the entire albumen up to the yolk and that the 
semen is fixing itself on the latter toward the more 
pointed part of the egg, and I observed this fact in the 
dissection of an egg that had been incubated for one 
day. And finally still Aristotle himself testifies that the 
eggs which already begun inception do not grow if 
coitus ceased while they are still small, but if coitus 
continues the remaining eggs they grow in volume and 
attain their proper size. Then, while the eggs are still 
small, I said according to his statement that they are 
yellow, and we also see this by the dissection. 

But perhaps someone may ask how eggs are nourishing 
themselves since other animals take their food through 
the umbilical cord; for it is not likely that they receive 
their growth by themselves in the manner of worms. 
Aristotle clearly shows that growth takes place through 



410 p er i a s t m ttura dell'uovo vedi il lessico alia voce Uovo*. 

411 Historia animalium VI,2, 560a 17-20: Se pero la trasformazione nel bianco ha gia avuto luogo, non awiene alcun mutamento: ne le 
uova sterili diventano feconde, ne quelle concepite per fecondazione assumono il genere del maschio che ha montato per ultimo. E 
se la copulazione e interrotta quando le uova sono piccole, quelle che gia esistono non si accrescono piu; ma se la copulazione 
riprende, le loro dimensioni aumentano rapidamente. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

412 Questo caetera e in contraddizione con il testo di Aristotele, il quale non dice che le uova che si sono bloccate nella crescita per 
assenza di coito rimangono perennemente piccole. Aristotele dice che quando riprende il coito, queste uova rimaste piccole 
riprendono ad aumentare rapidamente di volume. 

413 De generatione animalium 111,2, 752a 24-752b 15: Sull'accrescimento delle uova ci si puo chiedere in che modo esso awiene 
dall'utero. Se infatti gli animali si procurano l'alimento per mezzo del cordone ombelicale, le uova per mezzo di che cosa se lo 
procurano, dal momento che esse non conseguono l'accrescimento da se stesse, come le larve? Se vi e qualcosa che permette 
l'adesione, in che cosa si trasforma, una volta compiuto l'uovo? Non esce insieme con l'uovo, come il cordone ombelicale insieme 
con l'animale, perche quando l'uovo e compiuto si forma tutt'attorno il guscio. Orbene, quanto e stato detto e correttamente fatto 
oggetto di una ricerca. Tuttavia non ci si accorge che cio che diventa guscio e in principio una membrana molle, e compitosi l'uovo 
diventa duro e secco in modo tanto tempestivo che esce ancora molle (procurerebbe altrimenti sofferenza a deporlo) e appena 



93 



membranam mollem, quae postea testa 
efficitur; perfecto enim ovo, durum ac ngidum 
evadit ita modice, ut exeat adhuc molle 414 , 
siquidem dolorem moveret, si ita exiret. 
Egressum statim refrigeratum duratur, 
evaporato humore quam primum, qui exiguus 
est, relictaque portione terrena. Hums itaque 
membranae particula quadam umbilicaris, 
parte acuta pnncipium continetur, tenditque 
parvis adhuc velut fistula: quod in {eiectitiis} 
<eiecticiis> inchoatis ovis patet. Nam si avis 
madefacta, aut alia causa malgescens eiecit, 
cruentus adhuc cernitur conceptus, habensque 
sibi annexam appendiculam umbilicarem, quae 
ovo amplius increscente obtenditur latius, 
atque minuitur, perfectoque mucro exitum 
complet; membrana interior sub hoc umbilico 
est, quae vitellum, albumenque ab eo 
distermmet. Ubi lam ad consummationem 
ventum est, ovum absolvitur totum, et 
umbilicus ratione non msuper apparet: 
extremum enim ultimum eius est. Partus 
ovorum contra atque animal evenit. Animal 
enim versum in caput, suumque pnncipium 
nascitur: at ovum quasi in pedes conversum 
exit. Cuius rei causa, ut diximus, est, quod 
ovum ea parte, qua pnncipium continetur, 
adhaeret. 

Ex quibus habemus, quomodo ovum 
incrementum sumit, ac perfectum excluditur: 
at quot diebus perficiatur, nondum diximus: 
hoc alibi 415 etiam Philosophus docet, et Plinius 
confirmat 416 , decima nempe a coitu die magna 
ex parte. Sed quaerendum est quanto tempore 
subventaneum ovum maturescat. Hoc enim, 
quod sciam, veterum nemo tradidit. Videtur 
autem tardius debere perfici propter calons 



that soft membrane which later becomes the shell; for 
when the egg is completed it becomes so moderately 
hard and rigid that it issues still soft, since it should 
cause pain if it issues in that way. Cooled immediately 
upon being laid, it grows hard since the slight moisture 
in it suddenly evaporates and the earthly portion is left. 
Thus in the pointed part a certain umbilical particle of 
this membrane is held as principle, and in still small 
eggs it stretches like a little tube: and this is evident in 
sketchy abortive eggs. For if a soaked bird or chilly for 
another reason ejected it, the fruit of conception is seen 
to be still bloody and having attached to it a small 
umbilical appendage - latebra? - which stretches more as 
the egg grows larger, and which shortens, and when the 
egg is completed its sharp part ends its purpose; under 
this umbilical cord is laying the innermost membrane, 
which separates the yolk and the albumen from it. 
When by now the process is completed, the egg is 
entirely delivered and the umbilical cord is no longer 
visible because of a reason: for its extremity is the last 
part of it. The parturition of eggs occurs also in a 
reverse way in comparison with that of an animal. For 
an animal is born turned toward the head and its 
beginning: while an egg comes out as if turned toward 
the feet. As I said, this occurs because an egg adheres to 
that part into which the principle is contained. 



We deduce from these remarks how the egg receives its 
growth and is laid when completed: but I have not yet 
said in how many days it is accomplished: also the 
Philosopher explains this elsewhere and Pliny* confirms 
this, and precisely mostly at the tenth day after coitus. 
But we must wonder within how much time a wind-egg 
comes to maturity. For none of the ancients so far as I 
know has handed down this information. However, it 
seems that it is accomplished later on because of 



uscito, raffreddatosi si consolida, perche l'umido evapora velocemente data la sua scarsezza e rimane l'elemento terroso. Una parte 
di questa membrana dapprima assomiglia, nella parte appuntita, a un cordone ombelicale e sporge quando l'uovo e ancora piccolo a 
guisa di una canna di zampogna. Cio risulta chiaramente nell'espulsione delle uova piccole: se l'uccello o per essersi bagnato o 
perche raffreddato per qualche altra ragione espelle il prodotto del concepimento, questo risulta ancora sanguinolento e attraversato 
da una piccola appendice simile a un cordone ombelicale. Questa, quando l'uovo si ingrandisce, si tende maggiormente e si 
rimpicciolisce, finche al termine, quando l'uovo e compiuto, costituisce la parte appuntita dell'uovo. Sotto di questo c'e la 
membrana interna clie separa da questo il bianco e il giallo. Compiutosi pero l'uovo si libera tutto intero e logicamente il cordone 
ombelicale non appare piu, perche e la punta della stessa estremita dell'uovo. L'uscita delle uova awiene al contrario di quella degli 
animali partoriti vivi: per questi awiene per la testa e il principio, mentre l'uscita dell'uovo e come fosse per i piedi. Ma la causa di 
questo fatto e cio che si e detto, che cioe esso aderisce per il principio. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 

414 Ne Aristotele ne Aldrovandi hanno mai toccato un uovo appena emesso: infatti il guscio dell'uovo e duro, non molle. I dati 
concordano sul fatto che l'uovo e rigido gia 13 ore prima di essere deposto. Per ulteriori elucubrazioni si veda il capitolo Fuoriuscita 
dell'uovo in Summa Gallicana 111,9,7*. 

415 Historia animalium VI,2, 560b: Lo sviluppo dell'uovo dopo la copulazione, e poi lo sviluppo del giovane uccello dall'uovo 
concotto [cioe sottoposto a incubazione, covato si da farlo maturare], non hanno luogo in periodi di tempo uguali per tutti gli 
uccelli, bensi differiscono secondo le dimensioni dei genitori. L'uovo della gallina si forma e giunge a termine per lo piu in dieci 
giorni dopo l'accoppiamento; l'uovo della colomba in un tempo leggermente minore. (traduzione e nota di Mario Vegetti) 

416 Naturalis historia ' X,147: A coitu X diebus ova maturescunt in utero, vexatis autem gallinae et columbae pinna evulsa aliave simili 
iniuria diutius. 



94 



penuriam, qui in spermate est. Sperma autem 
perficit ovum usque ad exitum, quod inde 
patet, si frangatur ovum perfectum: mvenitur 
id tnplici differentia distinctum. Colore enim 
albius est, utpote punons substantiae, et 
substantia densius quam reliquum albumen, ut 
firmius retineat calorem formantem, ne facile 
exhalet. Caeterum, ut vensimile est ovum 
subventaneum tardius quam ex coitu factum 
perfici, ita me nescire fateor tempons 
quantitatem, ac differentiam, quam alius 
quispiam observare potent, mini id quaesivisse 
tantum sufficiat. 

lam vero circa pulli generationis principium 
Aristoteles a priscorum Graecorum opinione 
prorsus recedit. Existimabant autem illi, ut 
Al<c>maeonis Crotoniatis, quern citat ipse 
Aristoteles 417 , et Hippocratis medicorum 
pnncipis exemplo proban potest, pullum ex 
vitello constare, nutriri vero ex albumme. In 
ovo, in quit Hippocrates 418 , pelliculae ex umbilico 
tentae sunt, et reliqua, quae de puero dicta sunt, sic se 
habere in ovo voluctis reperies ab initio adfinem. Et 
rursus: Voluctis {in oiis) <ex oii> luteo nascitur, 
hoc modo. Incubante matre ovum calescit, et quod in 
ovo inest, a matre movetur. Calescens autem id quod in 
ovo est, spiritum habet, et alterum frigidum ab a'ere per 
ovum attrahit. Ovum enim adeo ramm est: ut 
spiritum, qui attrahitur sufficientem ei quod intus est, 
transmittal et augescit voluctis in ovo, et coatticulatur 
modo eodem, ac consimili, velut puer. Nascitur autem 
ex luteo oii voluctis: alimentum vero et augmentum 
habet ex albo, quod in ovo est. Ubi autem deficit 
alimentum pullo ex ovo, non habens id sujfiiciens unde 
tivat, fottiter movetur in ovo, ubetius alimentum 
quaerens, et pelliculae circum dirumpuntur, et ubi 
mater sentit pullum vehementer motum, putamen 
excalpens ipsum excludit, atque <haec> fieri 
sole<n>t in viginti diebus <, et manifestum est quod 
ita se habent> 419 . Ubi enim excussa est voluctis, 



shortage of heat, being the latter in the sperm. For the 
sperm completes the egg until when it is laid, since from 
that moment, if broken, it appears to be a perfect egg: it 
is found to be marked with three different 
characteristics. For it is whiter in color since it is made 
up by a purer substance, and more dense as substance 
than the rest of the albumen, so that it may more firmly 
retain the molding heat in order that this should not 
easily be lost. On the other hand, as it is likely that a 
wind-egg is completed later on than one produced by 
coitus, so I admit that I do not know the amount and 
the difference of time which some one else will be able 
to observe, and it is just enough the fact to have asked 
myself about it. 

But on the other hand Aristotle completely diverges 
from the point of view of the ancient Greeks in regard 
to the generation's principle of the chick. On the other 
hand, as the example of Alcmaeon of Croton* quoted 
by Aristotle himself and of Hippocrates* ruler of 
physicians can demonstrate, they thought that the chick 
arises from the yolk but that it feeds on the albumen. In 
the egg, Hippocrates says, little membranes stretch from the 
umbilical cord, and the rest of what has been said about the child 
you will exactly find in a bird's egg from start to finish. And 
still: A bird is bom from the yellow of the egg in this way. When 
the mother is incubating the egg gets watm, and that which is in 
the egg is moved by the mother; while the contents of the egg are 
getting watm, thy have a breathing, and through the egg they 
attract the other cold air from the atmosphere. For the egg is so 
porous that it can transmit the air which is attracted in sufficient 
quantity for what is inside, and the bird grows in the egg, and he 
moves his joints exactly and quite likewise as a child does. 
Furthetmore the bird is born from the yellow of the egg: but he has 
his nourishment and growth from the white which is inside the egg. 
But when the chick lacks the nourishment from egg, and he does 
not have enough to live by it, perhaps he stirs inside the egg as 
seeking for more abundant food, and the membranes around him 
are broken, and when the mother notices that the chick is moling 
liolently, she hatches him by pecking at the shell, and usually all 
this happens within twenty days, and it is well-known that this is 
the case. For when the bird is hatched, in the eggshells there is no 



417 De generatione animalium 111,2, 752b 15-28: La nascita dall'uovo si ha per gli uccelli perche la femmina cova l'uovo e contribuisce a 
operare la cozione. L'animale si forma da una parte dell'uovo e ricava i mezzi del proprio accrescimento e compimento dalla 
restante parte, perche la natura dispone insieme nell'uovo sia la materia dell'animale, sia l'alimento sufficiente alia sua crescita. Dal 
momento che l'uccello non puo portare a compimento la prole dentro di se, produce nell'uovo anche l'alimento. Mentre per gli 
animali partoriti vivi l'alimento si produce in un'altra parte (il latte nelle mammelle), per gli uccelli la natura lo produce nelle uova. E 
tuttavia l'opposto di cio che ritengono gli uomini e afferma Alcmeone di Crotone: il latte non e costituito dal bianco, ma dal giallo, 
ed e questo l'alimento dei pulcini. Essi invece ritengono che sia il bianco per la rassomiglianza del colore, (traduzione di Diego 
Lanza) 

418 De natura pueri 29-30. - Sia Gessner che la traduzione di Ippocrate di Janus Cornarius* del 1546 - da cui Gessner ha tratto il testo, 
a sua volta erroneamente citato da Aldrovandi — hanno ex ovi luteo e non un intraducibile in ovis luteo. Conrad Gessner Historia 
animalium III (1555) pag. 416: Volucris ex ovi luteo nascitur, hoc modo. 

419 Un'ennesima riprova che Aldrovandi non solo copiava, ma addirittura scopiazzava da Gessner! II testo di Ippocrate e tratto 
parola per parola dalla traduzione dal greco di Janus Cornarius ed e contenuto nel suo Hippocratis Coi medicorum omnium longe principis, 
opera quae ad nos extant omnia (Froben, Basilea, 1546). II testo di Cornarius viene riportato da Gessner, ma omette et manifestum est quod 



95 



nullus humor in oii testis inest, qui sane memorabilis 
existat. {Expressus} <Expensus> est enim in 
pullum. 

Haec omnia Hippocrates, quibus sane 
generationis modum egregie, ut tantum virum, 
quern omnes mirantur, decebat, depmgit: 
verum, quod ex albumme nutriri, et ex vitello 
constare dicat, id {ossitanter} <oscitanter> 
fortassis fecerit: nam alioqui id contra omnium 
sententiam, ac quotidianam experientiam 
scnpsit. 



Quod vero contra ex vitello nutrimentum 
[215] capiat, et ex albumme generetur, 
praeterquam quod expenentia id docet, 
luculenter demonstrat Ansto teles 420 , atque ex 
hoc potissimum, quod luteum calore 
humescat, gelu contra coeat, et mdurescat. 
Etenim si ex eo pullus generan debebat, 
mcubatione indurari oportebat. Incubatio 
autem calefactio est, sed ne per ignis 
violentiam durescit, eodem teste, tantum abest, 
ut id incubatio praestet, quapropter cum vel in 
terra, vel per mcubitum concoquitur, liquescit. 
Contra candidum calore induratur, frigore vero 
magis, magisque humescit. Quamobrem, cum 
ad generationem concoquitur, crassescit. 
Quare minime etiam audiendus est 
Cardanus 421 , qui alas, et crura ex luteo constare 
affirmat, eo argumento nixus, quod pulli, ut 
putat, qui ex ovo, cuius lutea duo sint, absque 
sepiente membrana quattuor alis, et totidem 
pedibus nascantur: quasi in eiusmodi ovis 
etiam candidum copia non peccet. Caeterum 
ovi naturalis generatio, authore Philosopho 422 



noteworthy liquid. For it has been used for the chic 



All these things were written by Hippocrates, by which 
he is admirably describing the manner of the 
generation, as it was appropriate for so great a man 
whom everyone admires: but when he says that the 
chick is nourished by the albumen and is formed out of 
the yolk, perhaps he did this superficially: for otherwise 
he wrote that in opposition to opinion of everybody 
and daily experience. 

Page 215 

But, Aristotle* excellently demonstrates that on the 
contrary the chick takes nourishment from the yolk and 
is generated from the albumen, in addition to what 
experience itself teaches, and chiefly since the yolk 
moistens with heat, while with the cold solidifies and 
hardens. Really, if the chick is generated from the 
former - the albumen, the latter - the yolk - would have 
to harden by incubation. Truly, the incubation is a 
heating process, but, as he himself is referring, since it 
does not harden under the violence of the fire, it is 
almost impossible that the incubation is able to do this, 
hence when it undergoes a concoction both in the earth 
and by incubation, it moistens. On the contrary the 
white hardens by heat, but by cold moistens more and 
more. Therefore, when it is concocted for generation it 
grows thick. Hence we must not listen also to 
Gerolamo Cardano* at all, who affirms that wings and 
legs arise from the yolk, relying upon that proof 
according to which, as he thinks, the chicks arising from 
an egg with two yolks and without a separating 
membrane are born with four wings and as many legs: 
as though in eggs of this kind also the white is not guilty 
of abundance. On the other hand the natural hatching 



ita se habent, e l'omissione, owiamente, viene perpetrata da Aldrovandi. - Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 416: 
[...] putamen excalpens ipsum excludit, atque haec fieri solent in viginti diebus <, et manifestum est quod ita se habent.> - Sia Janus 
Cornarius che Conrad Gessner hanno haec fieri solent in viginti diebus e Expensus est enim in pullum, ma Aldrovandi, per mistificare il 
fatto che stava copiando, riporta atque fiieri solet in viginti diebus nonche Expressus. 

420 Y)e generatione animalium 111,2, 753a 35-753b 14: II giallo e il bianco posseggono nature opposte. II giallo si rassoda al freddo, ma 
riscaldato si liquefa, percio si liquefa quando subisce una cozione, sia nella terra sia per effetto della cova, ed essendo siffatto 
diventa alimento per l'animale in formazione. Sottoposto al fuoco e alia cottura non si fa duro perche e di natura terrosa cosi come 
la cera. Per questo riscaldandosi maggiormente acquista sierosita dal residuo umido e diventa sieroso. II bianco invece sotto l'effetto 
del freddo non si rassoda, ma si liquefa maggiormente (la causa e stata spiegata prima), mentre sottoposto al calore diventa solido, 
percio soggetto alia cozione della riproduzione animale si ispessisce. Da esso prende consistenza l'animale, mentre il giallo diventa 
alimento e da esso provengono i mezzi per l'accrescimento delle parti che si continuano a formare. Per questo il bianco e il giallo 
sono tenuti distinti da membrane, in quanto hanno diversa natura. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 

421 Pagma 475 del De subtilitate libri XXI - LIBER XII DE HOMINIS NATURA ET TEMPERAMENTO (Lugduni, apud Stephanum 
Michaelem, 1580): "... nam alae & crura ex luteo fiunt. Indicio est, quod pulli qui ex ovo cuius lutea duo sunt absque sepiente 
membrana, capite uno sed quatuor alis et totidem pedibus nascuntur, arbitranturque prodigium, quale olim Mediolani contigit." 

422 Y) e g enera tione animalium 111,2, 752b 15-23: La nascita dall'uovo si ha per gli uccelli perche la femmina cova l'uovo e contribuisce a 
operare la cozione. L'animale si forma da una parte dell'uovo e ricava i mezzi del proprio accrescimento e compimento dalla 
restante parte, perche la natura dispone insieme nell'uovo sia la materia dell'animale, sia l'alimento sufficiente alia sua crescita. 



(traduzione di Diego Lanza) 



96 



hoc mocio evenit, ut mcubante, et concoquente 
ave, animal ex parte ovi secernatur: natura 
enim simul et materiam animalis in ovo 
reponit, et satis sibi ad incrementum. Cum 
enim avis intra se perficere nequeat, cibum una 
parit in ovo. Nam us quae forma animalis 
nascuntur, cibus in alia corporis parte paratur, 
quod lac vocatur. 

Sed quis mihi obijciat, ipsumet Anstotelem 423 
in assignanda generationis in Gallo materia sibi 
contradicere, quando alibi ita scribit 424 . lam 
quale certo tempore <est ovum in gallina>, tale 
aliquando prodiit luteum totum, qualis postea pullus 
est. Si enim totum luteum est, ex luteo pullus 
constet necesse est. Verum, ut addit, tale ovum 
monstnficum est, et pro ostento ab augunbus 
habetur: innuit tamen interim, meo iudicio, 
quod ldquod album esse debebat, et pulli 
nascituri materia, a vitello ita tinctum sit, ut 
non videatur album ovo inesse. 

Quomodo vero, et quando smgulae partes in 
ovo generentur, et quomodo nutrimentum 
pullus factus assumat diligentissime etiam 
duobus potissimum locis docet. Primus locus 
est eodem capite, quern lam postremum 
citavimus, ubi ita scribit 425 : Pnncipio corde 



of the egg, according to the Philosopher, occurs as 
follows, that is, with the incubation and the concoction 
by the bird, the living creature is separated from a part 
of the egg: for Nature places in the egg at the same time 
both the material whence the animal arises and what 
suffices for its growth. In fact, for these subjects who 
are born with the form of an animal, the food is 
arranged in another part of the body, and it is called 
milk. 

But someone might object that Aristotle is 
contradicting himself in placing the material of 
generation in the rooster, since he writes as follows 
elsewhere. Like in a certain moment the egg is showing itself in 
the hen, so sometimes — the egg - showed itself entirely as yolk, 
which later will be a chick. For, if it is entirely yolk, the 
chick must arise from the yolk. But, as he adds, such an 
egg is monstrous and is regarded as a wonder by 
soothsayers: however at the same time, in my judgment, 
he hints that what ought to be the white and the 
material out of which the chick will be born, was so 
tinged with the yolk that there did not seem to be some 
albumen in the egg. 

But how and when single parts are generated in the egg 
and how the chick when formed takes its nourishment, 
he also says this very carefully especially in two 
passages. The first passage is in the same chapter I last 
quoted, where he writes as follows: «In the beginning, 
when the heart has been formed and the larger vein 



423 Historia animalium VI,2, 559b 16-20: E accaduto di osservare formazioni simili all'uovo in un certo stadio del suo sviluppo (cioe 
tutto uniformemente giallo, come lo sara piu tardi il vitello [Neottos, clie significa propriamente «pulcino», vale qui, secondo 
Schneider, III, 407, seguito da tutti i tradd., «vitello», cioe tuorlo]), anche in un gallo sezionato sotto il diaframma, laddove le 
femmine hanno le uova; queste formazioni sono interamente gialle d'aspetto, e grandi come le uova. Vengono tenute in conto di 
mostruosita. (traduzione e nota di Mario Vegetti) 

424 Questa citazione di Aldrovandi — a parte la corretta interpretazione del testo greco riportata nella nota precedente - e del tutto 
incomprensibile, ma diventa appena intelligibile se integrata con la bistrattata fonte, rappresentata come al solito da Conrad Gessner 
Historic! Animalium III (1555), pag. 420: lam quale certo tempore est ovum in gallina, tale aliquando prodiit luteum totum, qualis 
postea pullus est. Gallina etiam discissa talia sub septo, quo loco foeminis ova adhaerent, inventa sunt, colore luteo tota 
magnitudine ovi perfecti: quod pro ostento augures capiunt, Aristot. — Anche Gessner doveva trovarsi in un momento di strana 
disattenzione: infatti non si trattava di una gallina che aveva le uova sotto il setto trasverso come le hanno le femmine, bensi di un 
gallo!!! E solo una grande e perfetta bagarre\ Ma la bagarre ha la sua spiegazione: gallina viene da Teodoro Gaza* (1498), e questo 
gallina non viene corretto con gallus da Gessner, che tuttavia ha corretto un intraducibile suscepto di Gaza con un corretto sub septo. - 
Non si puo escludere che Gaza disponesse dello stesso codice di Giulio Cesare Scaligero*, un codice diverso da quello Mario 
Vegetti. Infatti anche Scaligero ha gallina, e il suo testo greco e inequivocabile per gallina, detta alektoris. ToiatJTCC KCU SV 
<x\eiCTop{8l Svavpoupevr] VXO TO UTtO^COpa, OUTtsp CU 6f^\siOU fyovai Ta COOt. Peccato non poter resuscitare Aristotele! Ma a 
mio awiso e nel giusto Vegetti, in quanto mi sembra una ridondanza superflua — molto cara agli antichi — parlare di un gallina 
sezionata sotto il diaframma, laddove le femmine hanno le uova. E scontato che una gallina e una femmina! Quanti bei punti 
esclamativi!!! 

425 Degeneratione animalium 111,2 753b 18-754a 17: Per la presente indagine basta che risulti chiaramente che, costituitosi per primo il 
cuore e a partire da esso la grande vena, due cordoni ombelicali si tendono dalla vena: l'uno verso la membrana che awolge il giallo, 
l'altro alia membrana simile a corion che awolge tutt'attorno l'animale, e questo e disposto intorno, sotto la membrana del guscio. 
Per mezzo di uno di essi l'animale riceve l'alimento dal giallo, il giallo infatti diventa piu abbondante perche, riscaldandosi, si fa piu 
liquido. Come per le piante, in effetti occorre che l'alimento, pur avendo consistenza corporea, sia fluido, e sia gli animali che si 
formano nelle uova sia quelli che si formano in altri animali vivono in un primo tempo la vita di una pianta, perche stando attaccati 
ricevono da un altro essere il primo accrescimento e l'alimento. L'altro cordone ombelicale si tende verso il corion awolgente. Si 
deve supporre che tra gli animali che nascono dalle uova e il giallo c'e lo stesso rapporto che esiste tra gli embrioni dei vivipari, 
quando si trovano nella madre, e la madre (poiche infatti gli animali che nascono dalle uova non sono nutriti compiutamente nella 



97 



constitute, et vena maiore ab eo distincta, 
umbilici duo de vena eadem pertendunt, alter 
ad membranam, quae luteum continet: alter ad 
membranam, cui secundarum species est, qua 
animal obvolutum continetur, quae circa testae 
membranam est. Altero lgitur umbilico cibum 
ex luteo assumit. Efficitur luteum copiosius: 
quippe quod calescens reddatur humidius. 
Cibum enim, quoniam corpulentus est 
humidum esse oportet, qualis plantae 
suppeditatur. Vivunt autem pnncipio, et quae 
in ovis, et quae in animalibus gignuntur, vita 
plantae. Adhaerendo enim capiunt pnmum et 
incrementum, et alimentum. Alter umbilicus 426 
ad secundas tendit. Ita enim in iis, quae ovo 
nascuntur, animalibus, pullum uti luteo 
existimandum, uti foetus viviparus sua parente 
utitur, quandiu intra parentem continetur. Cum 
enim non intra parentem nutriantur, quae ovo 
proveniunt, partem ems accipiunt aliquam, 
habentque secum in cibo. Membrana vero 
exteriore novissima sanguinolenta haec pennde 
ut ilia utuntur. Simul autem et luteum, et 
secundas testa ovi complectitur uteri 
proportione, pennde quasi quid unum 
obductum amplectatur, foetum, parentemque 
totum. Quod ita est, quoniam foetum in utero 
esse et cum parente necesse est. Itaque uterus 
in vivipans in parente est, in oviparis e diverso 
fit, quasi dixens parentem esse in utero. 
Luteum enim est cibus, qui a parente 
praestatur. Causa est, quod foetus nutricatio 
non intra parentem est. Crescentibus umbilicus 
pnmum considet, qui secundis adiungitur. Hac 
enim pullum excludi convenit. Reliquum lutei, 
et umbilicus ad luteum pertinens post 
collabitur. Cibum enim habeat statim oportet, 



underwent a differentiation from it, two umbilical cords 
stretch out from the same vein, one to the membrane 
containing the yolk: the other to that membrane which 
looks like a placenta — allantoid - inside which is 
contained the covered animal and which is lying near 
the shell's membrane. Then the embryo takes the food 
from the yolk by the first umbilical cord. The yolk 
becomes more copious: since it becomes more liquid as 
it grows warm. For the food, since it is thick, must 
become liquid, as that supplied to a plant. For in the 
beginning both creatures generated in the eggs and 
those generated in viviparous animals are living like a 
plant is living. For by keeping adherent they receive 
both first growth and first nourishment. The second 
umbilical cord runs to the placenta - allantoid. For we 
must think that in those animals taking birth in an egg, 
the chick makes use of the yolk, as the foetus of 
viviparous animals uses its mother as long as it is 
contained within the mother. Since are not nourished 
inside their mother, those arising from egg take some 
part of the mother and keep it with them in the food. 
For these subjects, likewise the former ones, are using 
an outer bloody membrane recently developed. In fact 
the eggshell surrounds at the same time both the yolk 
and the placenta likewise the uterus does, as if it were 
placed around a single covered thing represented by the 
foetus and the entire parent. This is in this manner 
because the foetus must be inside the uterus and with 
the parent. Thus the uterus in viviparous animals is in 
the mother, in oviparous animals the contrary happens, 
as to say that the mother is in the uterus. For the yolk is 
the food which is supplied by the mother. The reason 
for this is that the nourishment of the foetus is not 
within the mother. As the chicks grow, the umbilical 
cord which is linked with the placenta collapses first. So 
it is worthwhile that at this point the chick will issue 
forth. The rest of the yolk and the umbilical cord linked 



madre, ricevono una parte di questa) e il rapporto dei primi con la membrana esterna sanguigna e come quello dei secondi con 
l'utero. Nello stesso tempo intorno al giallo e al corion, che e l'analogo [754a] dell'utero, sta il guscio dell'uovo, come se si 
awolgesse lo stesso embrione e tutta la madre. Le cose stanno cosi perche l'embrione deve stare nell'utero e in rapporto con la 
madre. Ora, mentre nei vivipari l'utero e posto nella madre, negli ovipari al contrario e come se si dicesse che e la madre nell'utero. 
Perche cio che si produce dalla madre, cioe l'alimento, e costituito dal giallo. E causa di questo e il fatto che l'alimentazione 
completa non awiene nella madre. Nel corso della crescita, prima cade il cordone ombelicale diretto al corion perche da questa 
parte deve uscire l'animale, successivamente la parte restante di giallo e il cordone teso verso il giallo, perche il nato deve ricevere 
immediatamente alimento, dato che ne poppa dalla madre, ne puo procurarsi subito da se l'alimento; percio il giallo con il cordone 
ombelicale si dispone all'interno e attorno sta la carne. Gli animali che nascono esternamente da uova compiute nascono in questo 
modo sia nel caso degli uccelli sia nel caso dei quadrupedi che depongono uova dal guscio duro. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 
426 De generatione animalium 111,2 753b-754a: L'altro cordone ombelicale si tende verso il corion awolgente. Si deve supporre che tra 
gli animali che nascono dalle uova e il giallo c'e lo stesso rapporto che esiste tra gli embrioni dei vivipari, quando si trovano nella 
madre, e la madre (poiche infatti gli animali che nascono dalle uova non sono nutriti compiutamente nella madre, ricevono una 
parte di questa) e il rapporto dei primi con la membrana esterna sanguigna e come quello dei secondi con l'utero. Nello stesso 
tempo intorno al giallo e al corion, che e l'analogo [754a] dell'utero, sta il guscio dell'uovo, come se si awolgesse lo stesso embrione 
e tutta la madre. Le cose stanno cosi perche l'embrione deve stare nell'utero e in rapporto con la madre. Ora, mentre nei vivipari 
l'utero e posto nella madre, negli ovipari al contrario e come se si dicesse che e la madre nell'utero. Perche cio che si produce dalla 
madre, cioe l'alimento, e costituito dal giallo. E causa di questo e il fatto che l'alimentazione completa non awiene nella madre. 
(traduzione di Diego Lanza) 



98 



quod exclusum est. Nee emm a parente 
nutntur, et per se ipsum statim capere cibum 
non potest: quapropter luteum subit cum 
umbilico, et caro adnascitur. Talis ortus eorum 
est, quae ex ovis perfectis foris generantur. 

Haec ille eo loco, quae omnia fere peculianter 
in Gallma ut videtur, facto expenmento hunc 
in modum alibi 427 repetit: Gallims porro tertia 
die, ac nocte postquam coepere mcubare, 
indicium praestare incipiunt. At maiorum 
avium generi plus praetereat tempons, necesse 
est: minori autem minus sufficit. Effertur per 
id tempus luteus humor ad cacumen, qua 
pnncipium ovi est: atqui ovum detegitur ea 
parte, et cor quasi punctum sangumeum in 
candido liquore consistit: quod punctum salit 
lam, et movetur, ut animal. Tendunt ex eo 
meatus venales sanguifen duo tortuosi ad 
tunicam ambientem utramque dum augetur. 
Membrana etiam fibns distincta sanguineis, 
lam {album liquorem 428 } <luteum> per id 
tempus {circundat} <circumdat>, a meatibus 
lllis venarum onens. Paulo autem post, et 
corpus iam pulli discernitur, exiguum 
admodum primum, et candidum, conspicuum 
capite, et maxime oculis inflatis, quibus ita 
permanet diu: sero emm decrescunt oculi, et se 
ad ratam contrahunt proportionem. Pars 
autem inferior corporis, nullo membro a 
supenore distingui intra mitia cermtur. 
Meatuum, quos ex corde tendere diximus, alter 
ad ambiendum album liquorem fertur, alter ad 
luteum velut umbilicus. Origo itaque pulli in 
albumme est, [216] cibus per umbilicum ex 
luteo petitur. 



with the yolk disappear later. For the chick must have 
nourishment as soon as hatched. It is not nourished by 
the mother and cannot at once take food by itself: 
therefore the yolk comes into it with the umbilical cord, 
and flesh grows around it. This is the manner of birth 
for those creatures hatched from perfect eggs.» 

Those are the things he wrote in that passage, all things 
he is repeating elsewhere as follows, apparently after he 
did an experiment almost specifically in the hen: «Then 
in hens - the eggs - begin to show a sign on third day 
and night after they began to incubate. But in the genus 
of larger birds there is need for more elapsing time: but 
less time suffices for a smaller bird. During this period 
the yellow liquid is moving to the sharp end, where the 
principle of the egg is located: now, if the egg is 
uncovered in that area, the heart appears like a speck of 
blood in the white liquid: and this speck still jumps and 
moves like a living creature. Two winding vein-ducts 
with blood are detaching themselves from it and while it 
is growing they go towards both the enveloping 
membranes. In this moment also a membrane marked 
with bloody fibers is already surrounding the yolk, 
arising from those vein-ducts. But a little later it is yet 
possible to see the body of the chick, quite small at first 
and white, with a big head, and with very prominent 
eyes, a condition which lasts for a long time: since the 
eyes decrease in size belatedly and contract themselves 
to their proper size. At the beginning it is impossible to 
distinguish the lower part of the body from the upper 
one by no anatomical structure. One of the vein-ducts 
which I said are detaching themselves from the heart 
goes to surround the albumen, the other moves towards 
the yolk like an umbilical cord. Thus the origin of the 
chick lies in the albumen, its nourishment is sought out 
of the yolk through the navel-string.» 



Page 216 



427 Historia animalium VI,3, 561a 6-26: Nelle galline, dunque, un primo segno compare dopo tre giorni e tre notti; negli uccelli piu 
grandi di queste occorre piu tempo, in quelli piu piccoli meno. In questo periodo il giallo viene risalendo verso Pestremita appuntita, 
la dove si trova il principio dell'uovo e dove esso si schiude, e nel bianco appare il cuore, delle dimensioni di una chiazza sanguigna. 
Questo punto palpita e si muove come se fosse animato, e da esso si dipartono due condotti venosi pieni di sangue e awolti a 
spirale, che si estendono, con l'accrescersi delPembrione, verso entrambe le tuniche die lo awolgono. E una membrana prowista di 
fibre sanguigne racchiude ormai in questa fase il giallo, a partire dai condotti venosi. Poco tempo dopo incomincia a differenziarsi 
anche il corpo, all'inizio piccolissimo e bianco. Si distingue chiaramente la testa, e in essa gli occhi che sono molto prominenti; 
questo stato perdura a lungo, perclie essi diventano piccoli e si contraggono molto tardi. Nella zona inferiore del corpo non si 
distingue all'inizio chiaramente alcuna parte, se la si confronta con quella superiore. Dei condotti che si dipartono dal cuore, l'uno 
porta alia membrana periferica, l'altro verso il giallo, come se fosse un cordone ombelicale. II pulcino deriva dunque il suo principio 
dal bianco, l'alimento dal giallo attraverso il cordone ombelicale. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

428 Aristotle says yolk. (Lind, 1963) — Infatti Aristotele dice "il giallo" e l'erronea citazione di Aldrovandi — come dimostra anche 
l'erroneo circundat - altro non e che un errore di Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 417: Membrana etiam fibris 
distincta sanguineis, iam album liquorem per id tempus {circundat} <circumdat>, a meatibus illis venarum oriens. — Vatti a fidare! - 
L'errore e tratto dalla traduzione di Teodoro Gaza* del 1498. Inoltre Gaza non ha circundat, bensi circumdat. — Peggio della catena di 
Sant' Antonio! 



99 



Die iam decimo 429 pullus totus perspicuus est, 
et membra omnia patent. Caput grandius toto 
corpore est. Oculi capite grandiores haerent: 
qui fabis maiores per id tempus eminent nign, 
nondum cum pupilla. Quibus si cutem 
detrahas, nihil solidi videns, sed humorem 
candidum ngidumque admodum refulgentem 
ad lucem, nee quicquam aliud, ita oculi, et 
caput. Iam vero, et viscera eo tempore patent, 
et alvi, intestinorumque natura perspicua est. 
Venae etiam lllae a corde prospicientes iam 
sese iuxta umbilicum constituunt. Ab ipso 
autem umbilico vena oritur duplex: altera 
tendens ad membranam, ambientem earn, qua 
pullus operitur, et earn, quae vitellum, 
humoremque interiectum continet 430 . Dum 
enim pullus paulatim increscit, vitellus seorsum 
in duas partes secatur, quarum altera locum 
tenet superiorem, altera mfenorem: et medius 
humor candidus continetur. Nee partem 
mfenorem a vitello liquor desent albus, qualis 
ante habebatur. Decimo die albumen exiguum 



«Now on the tenth day the complete chick is visible and 
all parts of its body are observable. The head is larger 
than the entire body. The eyes continue to be larger 
than the head: larger than broad-beans, at this time they 
are bulging and black, not yet provided with pupil. If 
you remove their covering you will see nothing solid, 
but a snow-white and stiff liquid very shining in the 
light, and nothing else, such are eyes and head. Also the 
viscera are already visible at that time, and the 
conformation of the stomach and of the intestinal loops 
is recognizable. Also those veins that branch out from 
the heart are now placing themselves close to the 
umbilical cord. A pair of veins arises from the umbilical 
cord itself: one goes to that membrane — allantoid - 
which wraps up that one — amnios - by which the chick 
is wrapped up, and which wraps up that one containing 
the yolk and the interposed liquid. For while the chick is 
gradually growing the yolk splits distinctly itself into two 
parts, one occupying the upper space, the other the 
lower space: and a snow-white liquid is contained 
between them. And the albumen is not running out 
from the lower part of the yolk, such as it was before. 



429 Aristotele, Historia animalium VI,3, 561a 26-562a 21: Giunto al decimo giorno il pulcino e ormai tutto quanto visibile in ogni sua 
parte. Esso ha ancora la testa piu grande del resto del corpo, e gli occhi piu grandi della testa; e tuttora privi della vista. In questo 
periodo gli occhi sono prominenti, piu grandi di una fava e neri; se si asporta la pelle, vi si trova all'interno un liquido bianco e 
freddo, assai risplendente in piena luce, ma nulla di solido. Tale e dunque la situazione degli occhi e della testa. In questa fase anche 
i visceri sono ormai evidenti, sia la regione dello stomaco sia l'insieme degli intestini, e le vene che si vedono diramarsi dal cuore 
giungono ormai all'altezza dell'ombelico. Dal cordone ombelicale una vena si estende verso la membrana che awolge il giallo (che 
dal canto suo in questo momento e fluido e piu abbondante di quanto comporti la sua natura), e un'altra verso la membrana che 
racchiude sia la membrana in cui e contenuto il pulcino, sia quella del giallo, sia il fluido che si trova fra queste. Via via che il pulcino 
cresce, poco per volta una parte del giallo si sposta in alto, un'altra in basso, e in mezzo resta il fluido bianco; il bianco dell'uovo si 
trova sotto la parte inferiore del giallo, come lo era fin dall'inizio. Al decimo giorno il bianco si porta all'estremita, ed e ormai 
scarso, viscoso, denso e giallastro. Ogni parte si trova cosi disposta nel modo seguente: in primo luogo, all'estrema periferia presso 
il guscio e'e la membrana dell'uovo, non quella del guscio ma quella al di sotto di essa. In questa e contenuto un fluido bianco, poi il 
pulcino, e attorno a esso una membrana che lo isola, affinche non sia immerso nel fluido; sotto il pulcino e sito il giallo, a cui porta 
una delle vene menzionate, mentre l'altra va al bianco circostante. II tutto e poi awolto da una membrana che contiene un liquido 
sieroso. Poi e'e un'altra membrana, che gia racchiude lo stesso embrione, come s'e detto, isolandolo dal fluido. Sotto di esso si trova 
il giallo awolto in una diversa membrana (quella a cui porta il cordone ombelicale che si diparte dal cuore e dalla grande vena), in 
modo che l'embrione non sia immerso in nessuno dei due fluidi. Verso il ventesimo giorno, il pulcino ormai pigola muovendosi 
all'interno, se lo si tocca dopo aver spezzato il guscio, ed e gia coperto di peluria, quando, dopo i venti giorni, ha luogo lo 
schiudimento dell'uovo. La testa e ripiegata sopra la gamba destra all'altezza del fianco, e l'ala e posta sopra la testa. In questa fase e 
ben visibile la membrana simile al corion, cioe quella che viene dopo la membrana piu esterna del guscio e a cui porta uno dei 
[562a] cordoni ombelicali (e il pulcino si trova allora awolto tutt'intero in essa), come pure l'altra membrana, anch'essa simile al 
corion, che sta attorno al giallo e a cui va il secondo cordone; entrambi i cordoni erano connessi al cuore e alia grande vena. A 
questo punto il cordone ombelicale che raggiunge il corion esterno cade e si stacca dall'animale, mentre quello che porta al giallo e 
attaccato all'intestino tenue del pulcino: all'interno di questo si trova ormai molto giallo, che si deposita nel suo stomaco. In questa 
fase il pulcino emette inoltre residuo in direzione del corion esterno, e ne ha nello stomaco: il residuo emesso all'esterno e bianco, e 
pure all'interno v'e qualcosa di bianco. Da ultimo il giallo, che e andato sempre diminuendo, finisce per essere del tutto consumato 
e assorbito nel pulcino, tanto che, se si seziona il pulcino dopo ben dieci giorni dall'uscita dall'uovo, si trova ancora un poco di 
giallo rimasto attaccato all'intestino; pero e separate dal cordone ombelicale e non ve n'e piu nel tratto intermedio, perche e stato 
interamente consumato. Nel periodo di cui s'e detto prima, il pulcino dorme, ma se viene scosso si sveglia, guarda e pigola; e il 
cuore pulsa insieme con il cordone ombelicale come se respirasse. Lo sviluppo degli uccelli a partire dall'uovo presenta dunque 
questi caratteri. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

430 Qui Aldrovandi decurta il testo di Aristotele e fa scomparire un vaso sanguigno, quello diretto al sacco del tuorlo. Ecco infatti 
come si esprime Aristotele in Historia animalium VI,3: Dal cordone ombelicale una vena si estende verso la membrana che awolge il 
giallo (che dal canto suo in questo momento e fluido e piu abbondante di quanto comporti la sua natura), e un'altra verso la 
membrana che racchiude sia la membrana in cui e contenuto il pulcino, sia quella del giallo, sia il fluido che si trova fra queste. 
(traduzione di Mario Vegetti) - Ma il colpevole dell'amputazione del testo e Teodoro Gaza* alia cui traduzione (1498) corrisponde 
perfettamente il testo di Gessner in Historia animalium III (1555) pag 417, debitamente ricopiato da Aldrovandi. 



100 



lam, et lentum, crassum, pallidulum novissime 
inest. Sunt emm locata quaeque hoc ordine. 
Prima, postremaque ad testam ovi membrana 
posita est, non testae ipsius nativa, sed altera 
illi subiecta. Liquor in ea <candidus est>. 
Demde pullus continetur obvolutus 
membrana, ne in humore maneat. Mox pullo 
vitellus subiacet, in quern alteram ex venis 
prorepere dictum est, cum altera albumen 
ambiens petat. Cuncta autem ambit membrana 
cum humore specie saniei. Turn vero 
membrana alia circa ipsum foetum, ut dictum 
est, ducitur arcens humorem: sub qua vitellus 
alia obvolutus membrana, in quern 
{umbelicus} <umbilicus> a corde, ac vena 
maiore oriens pertinet, atque ita efficitur, ne 
foetus alterutro humore attingatur. 

Vicesimo die lam pullus, si quis putamine secto 
solicitet, movet sese, pipitque aliquantulum, et 
lam ab eo die plumescit, quoties ultra 
vicesimum exclusio proferatur. Ita positus est, 
ut caput supra crus dextrum admotum llibus, 
alam supra caput positam habeat. Qum etiam 
membrana, quae pro secundis habetur, post 
ultimam testae membranam, ad quam alter 
umbilicus pertendit, evidens per id tempus est, 
pullusque in eadem lam totus locatur. Et altera 
quoque membrana, quae et ipsa vicem 
secundarum praestat, vitellumque ambit, ad 
quern alter umbilicus procedit, latius patet. 
Oritur umbilicus uterque a corde, et vena 
maiore, ut dictum est. Fit autem per id tempus, 
ut umbilicus alter, qui in secundas exteriores 
fertur, compresso lam animante absolvatur: 
alter, qui adit vitellum, ad pulli tenue 
intestinum annectatur. lam et pullum ipsum 
multum humons lutei subit: atque in eius alvo 
faecis aliquid subsidit luteum. Excrementum 
etiam album eodem tempore pullus emittit, et 
in alvo quiddam album consistit. Demum 
vitellus paulatim absumitur totus membrorum 
haustu, ita ut si pullo decimo die post excluso 
rescindas alvum, nonnihil adhuc vitelli 
comperias. 

Umbilico vero absolvitor pullus, ne<c> 
quicquam praeterea haurit. Totus enim humor, 
qui in medio continebatur, absumptus iam est. 
Tempore autem supra dicto pullus dormit 
quidem, sed non perpetuo, quippe qui 
excitetur mterdum, et movens se respiciat, 
atque pipiat. Cor etiam eius cum umbilico, ut 
spirantis reflat, et palpitat. Sed avium ortus ad 
hunc modum ex ovis agitur. Hue usque llle. 



On the tenth day by now the white is slight in amount 
and sticky, thick, and finally somewhat dull. The various 
parts are arranged in the following order. Set against the 
eggshell there are a first and a second membrane, the 
latter not being that belonging to the shell, but being 
the other lying beneath the first one. There is a snow- 
white liquid in it. Then the chick is contained, which is 
wrapped up by a membrane so it is not lying in the 
fluid. Then beneath the chick there is the yolk towards 
which I said is going one of two veins, while the other 
goes towards the surrounding albumen. A membrane 
with a liquid sticky in appearance envelops all these 
things. Then, as I said, there is a second membrane 
arranged around the foetus itself, separating it from the 
liquid: under this, enveloped by the other membrane, 
there is the yolk towards which goes the umbilical cord 
arising from the heart and the larger vein, and so it 
follows that the foetus is not touched by either liquid. 

By now on the twentieth day, if the shell is broken and 
the chick is touched, it moves and peeps a little, and 
already from this day onward it begins to become 
covered with down every time the hatch goes on the 
twentieth day. It is so placed that its head is over the 
right leg which is close to the flanks, and it has its wing 
placed above its head. The membrane regarded as 
placenta is also well visible at this time, which lies after 
the innermost shell's membrane, and towards which 
goes one of two umbilical cords, and by now the chick 
is entirely contained in it. And also the other 
membrane, which also acts as placenta and surrounds 
the yolk, towards which the other navel-cord goes, is 
more largely visible. Both navel-cords arise from the 
heart and the larger vein, as has been said. It happens at 
this time that the navel-cord which goes to the 
outermost placenta tears itself away from the living 
creature now in cramped conditions: the other navel- 
cord which goes towards the yolk keeps fastened to the 
slender intestine of the chick. By this time much of the 
yolk enters the chick itself: and in its intestine some 
yellow residue remains. The chick at the same time 
emits also a white secretion and something white is 
present in his intestine. At last the yolk is all gradually 
consumed since it is used by the various parts of the 
body, so much so that if you cut open the intestine on 
the tenth day after the chick has been hatched, you will 
still find some of the yolk in it. 

The chick becomes detached from the navel cord and it 
does not receive anything further. For the entire liquid 
contained within the egg has been already used up. 
During the period of time mentioned above the chick 
sleeps, but not continually, for it wakes up now and 
then, and in moving casts a glance around and peeps. 
And its heart together with the navel cord lifts up as in 
a breathing creature, and palpitates. Well, the birth of 
birds from eggs takes place in this fashion.» Thus far 



101 



Aristotle* . 



Quae quidem Plmius male intellixisse viden 
potest, dum sangumeam illam guttam, quam 
cor esse dixit Aristoteles, et in albumme 
consistere, medio vitelli messe scnbat: 
Contradicit autem in eo non Aristoteli 
tantum 431 ac quotidianae experientiae, sed sibi 
ipsi, dum animal ex albumme corporari dicat, 
pnncipium vero vitae, nempe cor, in vitello 
inesse sibi persuadeat: scribit vero in hunc 
modum 432 : Omnibus ovis medio vitelli parva inest 
velut sanguinea gutta, quod esse cor avium existimant, 
primum in omni corpore idgigni opinantes: in ovo certe 
gutta salit, palpitatque. Ipsum animal ex albo liquore 
oii corporator. Cibus eius in luteo est. Omnibus intus 
caput maius toto corpore: oculi compressi capite 
maiores. Increscente pullo candor in medium vertitur, 
luteum circumfunditur. Vicesimo die, si moveatur 
ovum, iam liventis intra putamen vox auditur. A.b 
eodem tempore plumescit, ita positus, ut caput supra 
dextrum pedem habeat, dexteram vero alam supra 
caput. Vitellus paulatim deficit. Hactenus Plinius 
Aristoteli in plurimis consentiens. 

Contra Galenus 433 id quod in ovo primum 
apparet, caput pulli esse existimat. Si lgitur 
puen generatio in utero eodem modo sese 
habeat, ut in ovo, quod doctissimis verbis 
docere Hippocratem medicorum 

{coriphaeum} <coryphaeum> supra 

ostendimus, et ex sanguinea ilia gutta cor 
generetur, quod ex palpitatione, quae solius 
cordis passio est, Aristoteles, Pliniusque 
probant, et ego meis oculis vidi, non video, 
quomodo Galeni doctnna defendi queat, dum 



It is clear that Pliny* misunderstood these things, since 
that bloody drop, which Aristotle said was the heart and 
situated in the albumen, he describes it as lying in the 
middle of the yolk. In this regard he contradicts not 
only Aristotle and daily experience, but himself, since he 
says that a living creature takes shape from the 
albumen, but persuades himself that the beginning of 
life, that is, the heart, lies in the yolk: for he writes as 
follows: In all eggs there is like a small drop of blood in the 
middle of the yolk which people think is the heart of birds, under 
the opinion that this is firstly generated in whatever organism: in 
the egg this drop certainly leaps and palpitates. The animal itself 
is formed from the white liquid of the egg. Its food is in the yolk. 
In all chicks the head is larger than the entire body while they are 
still in the egg: the closed eyes are larger than the head. As the 
chick grows the white is turned to the middle and the yolk preads 
around it. On the twentieth day, if the egg is moved, the voice of 
the living creature can already be heard within the shell. At about 
the same time the down grows out, and the chick's position is such 
that its head is above the right kg and its right wing above the 
head. The yolk gradually decreases. Thus far Pliny, agreeing 
in most points with Aristotle. 

Galen*, on the contrary, thinks that what first appears 
in the egg is the chick's head. If then the generation of a 
child takes place in the uterus in the same way it takes 
place in an egg, a thing that we have shown to be taught 
by means of most learned words by Hippocrates* 
coryphaeus — leader - of physicians, and that the heart is 
generated from that bloody drop since Aristotle and 
Pliny demonstrate this from the fact that it palpitates, a 
thing which is typical of the heart alone and I have seen 
with my own eyes, I do not see how Galen's doctrine 
can be defended, as long as he thinks that the liver is 



431 Historia animalium VI,3, 561a 6 e sgg.: Nelle galline, dunque, un primo segno compare dopo tre giorni e tre notti; negli uccelli piu 
grandi di queste occorre piu tempo, in quelli piu piccoli meno. In questo periodo il giallo viene risalendo verso l'estremita appuntita, 
la dove si trova il principio dell'uovo e dove esso si schiude, e nel bianco appare il cuore, delle dimensioni di una chiazza sanguigna. 
(traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

432 Natura/is historia X: [148] Omnibus ovis medio vitelli parva inest velut sanguinea gutta, quod esse cor avium existimant, primum 
in omni corpore id gigni opinantes: in ovo certe gutta ea salit palpitatque. Ipsum animal ex albo liquore ovi corporator. Cibus eius in 
luteo est. Omnibus intus caput maius toto corpore, oculi conpressi capite maiores. Increscente pullo candor in medium vertitur, 
luteum circumfunditur. [149] Vicensimo die si moveatur ovum, iam viventis intra putamen vox auditur. Ab eodem tempore 
plumescit, ita positus, ut caput supra dextrum pedem habeat, dextram vero alam supra caput. Vitellus paulatim deficit. Aves omnes 
in pedes nascuntur, contra quam reliqua animalia. - Aldrovandi, contrariamente a Gessner, non cita quest'ultima frase, forse per non 
impegolarsi in una discussione con Plinio, una discussione die probabilmente non poteva sostenere, in quanto dubito molto assai 
che avesse mai osservato un uccello mentre nasce, contrariamente al mio amanuense elettronico — Fernando Civardi* — die si beava 
della nascita dei suoi piccoli canarini. Io non ho mai visto nascere un uccello che non sia un pulcino di gallina, ma posso assicurare 
che il pulcino becca il guscio e ne fuoriesce con la testa e non con le zampe. Quando con l'approssimarsi della notte faccio 
l'ostetrico per evitare un aborto notturno, al pulcino lascio sempre il guscio che awolge la meta inferiore del corpo per evitare, 
oltretutto, mortali emorragie. L'affermazione di Plinio della nascita di podice degli uccelli mi sembra alquanto strampalata. E 
Fernando mi da ragione. — Conrad Gessner Historia animalium III (1555) pag. 417: Ab eodem tempore plumescit, ita positus: ut 
caput supra dextrum pedem habeat, dexteram vero alam supra caput. Vitellus paulatim deficit. Aves omnes in pedes nascuntur, 
contra quam reliqua animalia, Plin. 

433 De anatomia vivorum. (Aldrovandi) — II De anatomia vivorum e la traduzione latina da un originale arabo, ma si tratta di un'opera 
spuria. 



102 



lecur primum nasci putat. Quominus enim 
hums partes agam, mihi obstat propria 
observatio. Ut enim trivialis huius 
controversiae inter medicos, ac philosophos 
veritatem indagarem, ex ovis duobus, et viginti, 
quae Gallina mcubabat 434 , quotidie unum cum 
maxima diligentia, ac curiositate secui, et 
Aristotelis doctrinam verissimam esse reperi: 
sed quia istaec observatio, praeterquam quod 
scitu dignissima est, et ad praeteritorum 
explicationem appnme idonea, et [217] 
voluptatem in se non mediocrem habeat, 
placuit earn hoc loco, quo brevius fieri possit, 
inserere. 



created first. It is my own observation which prevents 
me from taking sides with him. In order to search out 
the truth in this cheap controversy between physicians 
and philosophers, each day, with the greatest care and 
curiosity, I dissected one of twenty-two eggs which a 
hen was incubating, and I found that Aristotle's 
teaching is the true one: but since my such an 
observation, in addition to the fact that it is very well 
worthy to be known and extremely fitting for clarify the 
observations of the past times, is comprising a good 
deal of pleasure in itself, I thought that it is right to 
insert it at this point as briefly as possible. 



Secundo itaque ab mcubatu die, luteum 
observavi defern ad cacumen, aliquo pacto 
alteratum, et in medio quasi subalbidum: cuius 
rei in primis Aristoteles non meminit. In aliqua 
vero parte albuminis, quae pariter erat alterata, 
semen Galli apparebat, quod tres lllas 
videbatur obtinere qualitates, quales lam ante 
diximus. 

Tertia die ablato putamme in parte ovi obtusa, 
vidi albumen, et reliquam substantiae ovi 
partem in superiori putamme separatam. 
Recesserat autem albumen aliquantulum a 
putamme, quemadmodum fieri videmus in 



Page 217 

- Chicken embryo* - On the second day of incubation 
I observed that the yolk was moving to the sharper end 
of the egg, and it was altered in some way and almost 
whitish in the middle: a thing not mentioned first of all 
by Aristotle*. In some part of the albumen, which was 
equally altered, there appeared the rooster's semen, 
since it showed to have those three characteristics 
which I have already described before. 

On the third day, after the shell was removed in the 
blunt part of the egg, I saw the albumen and the 
remaining part of egg's substance displaced towards the 
upper shell. For the albumen had receded a bit from the 
shell, as we see also to happen in all eggs which are less 



434 Doveva trattarsi di una gallina di razza gigante clie covava uova particolarmente piccole deposte da galline nane, e anche in 
questo caso 22 uova sarebbero troppe per una sola gallina gigante. A mio awiso Aldrovandi non si cura assolutamente di dire il 
vero quando espone dati scientifici ne si prende la briga di rendere il dovuto onore a uno dei piu importanti collaboratori in questo 
suo studio di embriologia: l'olandese Volcher Coiter*. La conferma alia mia prima asserzione — cosi come per la seconda — e merito 
di Sandra Tugnoli Pattaro grazie al suo "Osservazione di cose straordinarie — II De observatione foetus in ovis (1564) di Ulisse 
Aldrovandi" (Bologna, 2000). A pagina 21 cita uno stralcio del De natura pueri di Ippocrate: "Prendete venti uova o piu, e mettetele a 
covare sotto due galline o piu; [...]", che a pagina 52 della traduzione dal greco di Janus Cornarius del 1546 suona cosi: "Etenim si 
quis ova viginti aut plura, quo pulli ex ipsis excudantur, gallinis duabus aut pluribus subijcere velit, [...]". Da cio possiamo dedurre 
che ai tempi di Ippocrate (460 - ca. 370 aC) le galline riuscivano a covare un numero di uova pari a quello delle loro colleghe del 
XXI secolo. E biologicamente scontato che nel 1564 le galline di Aldrovandi avevano le stesse doti di quelle di Ippocrate e delle 
nostre. Cio implica una mancanza di precisione scientifica da parte di Aldrovandi, contrariamente a quanto dimostrato da Ippocrate, 
nonche da Marcello Malpighi (1628-1694) quando adduce la fonte materiale dei suoi due lavori sull'embrione di polio (1672). Per il 
primo esperimento Malpighi afferma: "Descrivo ora i cambiamenti da me osservati in uova covate da una tacchina o da una gallina 
nostrana nel pieno dell'estate." Quindi Malpighi aveva a disposizione una gallina e una tacchina che avevano iniziato a covare 
contemporaneamente. Per il secondo esperimento: "In un uovo covato da una tacchina nello scorso mese di luglio[. . .]". E anche in 
questo caso non abbiamo nulla da ridire, in quanto le tacchine accolgono sotto di se comodamente 25-30 uova abituali di gallina. E 
se Aldrovandi e cosi superficiale riguardo a un dato alia portata di tutti, cosa raccontera nei suoi studi di embriologia che alia portata 
di tutti non sono? Studi che appunto non condusse da solo, anche se da buon egocentrista afferma quotidie unum cum maxima 
diligentia, ac curiositate secui. Infatti Sandra Tugnoli scrive a pagina 10: "Invero, come risulta dai documenti, la questione si presenta nei 
termini seguenti. Sebbene nell'inedito e nell' Ornithologia non menzioni collaboratori, Aldrovandi non effettuo l'indagine in oggetto 
isolatamente, bensi insieme con un'equipe di studiosi, entro la quale verosimilmente il ruolo di anatomista venne svolto 
precipuamente da Volcher Coiter, ma promotore dell'indagine fu Aldrovandi, suo maestro." — Una massima dice: Unicuique suum. In 
questo modo meriti e demeriti vanno a chi di dovere. Credo che Aldrovandi tendesse a mettere in pratica un'altra massima di vita: 
Quel che e mio e mio, e quel che e tuo e mio. Insomnia: con le 22 uova covate da una sola gallina il nostro Ulisse diventa per l'ennesima 
volta inaffidabile. Egli progetto il trattato di ornitologia il 22 novembre 1587, il secondo volume usci dalla topografia nel 1600, 
mentre le sue osservazioni sull'embrione di polio risalivano al 1564, quando potrebbe non aver annotato e quindi dimenticato il 
numero di chiocce usate. Se nel 1600 voleva essere veramente scientifico, doveva solo scrivere: "...che forse una sola gallina stava 
covando." 



103 



ovis omnibus, quae minus recentia sunt. Hmc 
Plinius 435 ova schista appellat tota lutea, quae 
tnduo mcubatu tolluntur. Vocat autem schista, 
teste Hermolao, quia dividantur, et discedat 
vitellus a candido. 

Videbam item mamfeste admodum 
membranas illas tres, quas ovis inesse ex 
Alberto dixi, et ex Aristotele etiam colligitur: 
neque verum est, quod secunda earum sit 
recenter genita. Si enim illud ita esset, minime 
in ovis nondum mcubatis conspiceretur. Inest 
autem et his, ut etiam vidi, sed albior in 
mcubatis caloris causa. Eadem die vitellus 
videbatur versus ovi partem acutam: atque hoc 
est, quod dicebat Philosophus 436 . Effertur per id 
tempus luteus humor ad cacumen, ubi est oii 
principium, nam ibi est maior calor, et vis 
spermatis. Apparebat etiam in albumme 
exiguum velut punctum saliens, estque illud 
quod Philosophus cor statuit. Ex eo vero 
evidenter admodum videbam enasci venae 
trunculum, et ab hoc duos alios ramulos 
proficisci, qui meatus illi fuerint sanguifen, 
quos ad utranque tunicam ambientem vitellum, 
et albumen protendi llle dixerat. Sum autem 



recent. Hence Pliny* calls schista - split - eggs those 
which are entirely yellow and are removed at the third 
day of incubation. According to Hermolaus Barbarus*, 
he calls them schista - split - because they split and the 
yolk separates itself from white. 



saw quite clearly those three 
inside the eggs, as I said when 
and as it is possible to catch also 
it is not true that the second 



And so as well I 
membranes situated 
quoting Albertus* 
from Aristotle: and 
membrane is recently generated. For if this were so, it 
would by no means be visible in eggs not yet incubated. 
On the other hand it is present in these eggs, as I also 
saw, but is more white in incubated eggs because of 
heat. On the same day the yolk was towards the sharper 
end of the egg: and this is what the Philosopher said. 
During this time the yellow liquid moves to the pointed part where 
the principle of the egg is located, for the heat is greater there 
as well as the force of the sperm. It was also visible in 
the albumen something like a small jumping speck, and 
this is what the Philosopher established as the heart. 
Truly, I saw quite clearly arising from it the little trunk 
of the vein, and from this two other branches coming 
forth, which would have been those blood-ducts which 
he said to go towards the two tunics surrounding the 
yolk and the albumen. In fact I am entirely of Aristotle's 



435 Siccome incorreremo nel latino sitista di Plinio, premettiamo che l'aggettivo greco OITIOTO<5 riferito agli animali significa ben 
nutrito, ingrassato; deriva dal verbo OlTvi^CO che significa nutrire. - La trasformazione di sitista in schista e dovuta a Ermolao Barbaro 
Castigationes Plinianae: EX LIBRO VIGESIMONONO EX CAPITE III: FIUNT ET TOTA LUTEA QUAE VOCANT SITISTA: Alii codices habent 
Sicista. Ipsum legendum fere arbitror Schista: quoniam ab incubatu exempta quasi dividantur et discedat vitellus a candido. Nam & 
luteum & candidum dicit Aristoteles de animalium generatione tertio, membranis inter sese distingu<u>ntur: & incubante ave 
concoquenteque animal ex alba parte ovi secernitur, augetur ex reliqua. — I nostri testi riportano abitualmente sitista, come risulta dal 
seguente brano della Naturalis historia XXIX, 45: Utilia sunt et cervicis doloribus cum anserino adipe, sedis etiam vitiis indurata igni, 
ut calore quoque prosint, et condylomatis cum rosaceo; item ambustis durata in aqua, mox in pruna putaminibus exustis, turn lutea 
ex rosaceo inlinuntur. Fiunt et tota lutea, quae vocant sitista, cum triduo incubita tolluntur. Stomachum dissolutum confirmant pulli 
ovorum cum gallae dimidio ita, ne ante II horas alius cibus sumatur. Dant et dysintericis pullos in ipso ovo decoctos admixta vini 
austeri hemina et pari modo olei polentaeque. - Nella Naturalis historia Plinio usa schistos per indicare un minerale in XXIX,124, 
XXXIII,84 e in XXXVI,144,145 e 147. L'aggettivo schistos,-a,-on significa fissile, cioe che si puo fendere, che si puo dividere facilmente, 
derivato dal greco schi\o = scindo, divido; viene usato da Plinio in XXX,74, in XXXI,79 e in XXXIII,88 riferito all'allume. II sostantivo 
maschile schistos significa limonite*, minerale ferroso che nella varieta pulverulenta, nota con il nome di ocra gialla, viene usata come 
pigmento colorante (terra di Siena). Ma Plinio usa l'aggettivo schistos per indicare anche una cipolla che, come lo scalogno - Allium 
ascalonicum -, possiede un bulbo composto da bulbilli aggregati i quali possono essere separati e quindi usati uno a uno per 
riprodurre la pianta, come accade per l'aglio comune o Allium sativum. Ecco il brano di Plinio in cui parla della cipolla di Ascalona e 
della cipolla schista in "Naturalis historia XIX: [101] Alium cepasque inter deos in iureiurando habet Aegyptus. Cepae genera apud 
Graecos Sarda, Samothracia, Alsidena, setania, schista, Ascalonia, ab oppido Iudaeae nominata. Omnibus etiam odor lacrimosus et 
praecipue Cypriis, minime Cnidiis. Omnibus corpus totum pingui tunicarum cartilagine. [102] E cunctis setania minima, excepta 
Tusculana, sed dulcis. Schista autem et Ascalonia condiuntur. Schistam hieme cum coma sua relincunt, vere folia detrahunt, et alia 
subnascuntur iisdem divisuris, unde et nomen. Hoc exemplo reliquis quoque generibus detrahi iubent, ut in capita crescant potius 
quam in semen. - Plinio usa schistos anche per indicare un modo di preparare il latte in XXVIII,126: Medici speciem unam addidere 
lactis generibus, quod schiston appellavere. Id fit hoc modo: fictili novo fervet, caprinum maxime, ramisque ficulneis recentibus 
miscetur additis totidem cyafhis mulsi, quot sint heminae lactis. Cum fervet, ne circumfundatur, praestat dyathus argenteus cum 
frigida aqua demissus ita, ne quid infundat. Ablatum deinde igni refrigeratione dividitur et discedit serum a lacte. - Insomnia: 
com'era prevedibile, nessuna traccia in "Naturalis historia delle uova schista citate da Aldrovandi in quanto furono ideate da Ermolao 
Barbaro. Anche Conrad Gessner riporta le uova schista come notizia dovuta a Plinio in Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 420: Fiunt 
et tota lutea quae vocant schista, cum triduo incubata tolluntur, Plin. - Viene da pensare che anche Gessner abbia fatto affidamento 
sulla castigatio di Ermolao Barbaro. 

436 Historia animalium VI,3, 561a 9-12: In questo periodo il giallo viene risalendo verso l'estremita appuntita, la dove si trova il 
principio dell'uovo e dove esso si schiude, e nel bianco appare il cuore, delle dimensioni di una chiazza sanguigna. (traduzione di 
Mario Vegetti) 



104 



ommno ems sententiae, ut eiusmodi vias 
credam esse venosas, ac pulsatiles, 
sanguinemque in iis contineri puriorem, 
principalium membrorum generationi, iecoris 
nempe, et pulmonis, similiumque idoneum: 
adeo ut recte dixerit Philosophus 437 , tertia die 
signa apparere, an ova foecunda sint futura: licet 
eiusmodi observatio in maiorum avium, utpote 
Cycnomm, Anserum, ac id genus aliarum ovis 
locum minime habeat. In eiusmodi enim, ut 
idem Philosophus testis est, paulo tardius ea 
signa apparent. 

Quarta die bina videbantur puncta, et 
quodlibet eorum sese movebat: quae haud 
dubio cor, et iecur fuerint, quae viscera in ovis 
tnduo mcubatis idem dixit. Apparebant item 
duo alia puncta nigricantia, nempe oculi: et iam 
luteum manifeste ad acutam ovi partem, ubi 
maior calor est, et spermatis vis sese receperat. 
Trahitur autem a spermate lllud pro carnis 
generatione, ut in omnibus animantibus fit, 
quae sibi simile generant. 

Qumta die non amplius punctum lllud quod 
cor esse diximus, extra videbatur moveri, sed 
obtegi, ac coopenn, et duo illi meatus venosi 
evidentiores conspiciebantur, alter vero maior 
altero: nee verum est, quod Albertus scripsit, 
apparere in tunica ilia, quae albumen mcludit: 
nisi forte id de tertia tunica, seu secundma 
dixerit, cui evidenter venae msunt, nam alioqui 
in ilia nullius venae vestigium merat. Harum 
venarum msita vi reliqua albummis portio 
quasi in palearem colorem immutatur. 
Videbantur etiam ramuli ad locum tendere, in 
quo caput formatur, eo scilicet puriorem 
matenam, a qua caput, ac in eo cerebrum fiat, 
una cum virtu te formatrice deferentes. Erat 
autem capitis fabnea valde rudis adhuc ac 
informis: oculi vero conspectiores, atque ervi 
quasi magnitudme. 

Sequenti dem die ablato supenori partis 
obtusae putamine, eiectisque duabus pnonbus 
tunicis, tertia evidenter cernebatur venulis 
referta: de hac locutum fuisse Philosophum 438 
arbitror cum mquit: Membrana etiam fibris 
distincta sanguineir. atque haec meo mdicio 
secundma dici potest. Dem inter hanc, et 
quartam membranam, quae foetum mvolvebat, 



opinion, since I believe that such ducts are venous, and 
pulsating, and that the blood they contain is purer, 
suitable for generation of mam organs, particularly of 
liver and lungs, and similar structures: so much so that 
the Philosopher rightly said that on the third day there 
appear the signs whether the eggs will be fertile: although there 
is very little room for such an observation in eggs of 
larger birds as swans, geese and other similar fowls. For, 
as also the Philosopher testifies, these signs appear a 
little later in such birds. 



On the fourth day two points were visible and each of 
them moved: without doubt they were the heart and the 
liver, viscera he said to be present in eggs incubated for 
three days. There also were visible two other blackish 
specks, precisely the eyes: and now the yolk clearly 
withdrew towards the pointed pole where the heat is 
greater as well as the force of the sperm. For it is 
attracted by the sperm for the generation of the flesh, as 
it happens in all living creatures which generate a 
creature looking like themselves. 

On the fifth day that speck which I said was the heart 
did not seem to move more, but that it was hidden and 
covered up, and those two vein-ducts were more 
evident, one larger than the other: and it is not true 
what Albertus wrote, that they appear in that tunic 
which encloses the albumen: unless perhaps he was 
alluding to the third tunic - allantoid, or afterbirth, in 
which there are clearly visible veins, for however there 
was no trace of a vein in that enveloping the albumen. 
By the inborn force of these veins the remaining 
portion of the albumen changes to a sort of straw color. 
Little branches seemed to tend to the place in which the 
head is formed, carrying to it, along with the molding 
force, a purer material from which the head is formed 
and, within it, the brain. The sketch of the head was still 
quite rough and shapeless: the eyes, to say the truth, 
were more visible and nearly of the size of a lentil. 

Then on the following day - the sixth - when the upper 
part of the blunt end of the shell was removed, and the 
two first tunics were taken away, the third tunic covered 
by little veins was clearly visible: I think the Philosopher 
spoke of this one when he said: Also a membrane marked 
with bloody fibers, and this in my opinion can be called 
afterbirth. Then between this tunic and the fourth, 
which enveloped the foetus, there was a watery liquid: 



437 Historia animalium VI,3, 561a 6 e sgg.: Nelle galline, dunque, un primo segno compare dopo tre giorni e tre notti; negli uccelli piu 
grandi di queste occorre piu tempo, in quelli piu piccoli meno. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

438 Historia animalium VI,3, 561a 15-16.: E una membrana prowista di fibre sanguigne racchiude ormai in questa fase il giallo, a 
partire dai condotti venosi. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 



105 



humor erat aquosus: quern autumo serosam 
albuminis partem esse, quae post natum 
foetum superest, tanquam ad generationem 
mepta. Earn vero membranam innuere videtur 
Aristoteles a meatibus illis venarum ortum 
ducere, quatenus scilicet vi fibrarum a venoso 
illo meatu ortarum in palearem, vel 
sangumeum colorem immutatur. Cernebatur 
deinde totus foetus moven, et oculi ram 
maiores erant, quam in praeterita die: at partes 
infenores, thorax nempe, venter, et pedes, 
erant valde imperfectae, nee discerni adhuc 
poterant, et rostrum erat muccosum: ut recte 
dixent Aristoteles 439 : pars inferior corporis nullo 
membro, a superiori distingui inter initia cernitur. 
Caput denique tota mferiori corporis parte 
mams erat. 

Septima die aperta quarta tunica foetum 
conspeximus parvum adhuc, ac lndistinctum 
cum oculis tamen magnis, triplicique in illis 
humore, crystallmo nempe, vitreo, et aqueo. 
Aperto capite lam cerebrum aperte cernebatur, 
minus vero reliquae partes. Unde dicebat 
Philosophus 440 . Paulo post (intelligit meo mdicio 
diem quintam usque ad nonam inclusive) et 
corpus iam pulli discernitur, exiguum admodum 
primum, et candidum, conspicuum capite, et maxime 
oculis inflatis, quibus ita permanet diu, {uti nos 
conspeximus:} <uti nos conspeximus:> et sew, 
mquit, [218] decrescunt oculi, et se ad ratam 
proportionem contrahunt, quod quidem 
verissimum est: siquidem in quartadecima, aut 
qumtadecima die aliquantum resident diminuti 
propter calons digestionem. 



which I believe is the serous part of the albumen, which 
is left over after the foetus is born, being unfit for 
generation. Aristotle seems to hint that this membrane 
takes its origin from those vein-ducts since by the force 
of the fibers arising from that vein-duct it is changed to 
a straw or bloody color. Moreover the entire foetus was 
seen to move and the eyes were by now larger than on 
the day before: but the lower parts, and precisely 
thorax, belly and legs were quite imperfect, neither they 
could yet be discerned, and the beak was mucous: as 
Aristotle rightly said: at the beginning the lower part of the 
body cannot be distinguished from the upper part through any 
organ. Finally, the head was larger than the entire lower 
part of the body. 



On the seventh day, when the fourth tunic — amnios - 
was opened, I saw the foetus still small and indistinct, 
with eyes nevertheless large and a triple humor in them, 
and precisely crystalline, vitreous, and aqueous. After 
the head was opened the brain was by now clearly 
visible, but less the remaining parts. Hence the 
Philosopher was saying: A little later (he means, in my 
judgment, the fifth to the ninth day inclusive) the body of 
the chick is now visible, quite small at first and snow-white, 
conspicuous with its head and great bulging yes which remain a 
long time thus, as I saw: later on, he says, the eyes decrease in 
si^e and contract to their proper volume; this is quite true: in 
fact, on the fourteenth or fifteenth day they turn out 
fairly diminished because of the concoction by the heat. 



Octava rursus die oculi maiores adhuc 
videbantur, utpote cicens ferme magmtudine. 
Totum corpus tunc sese velociter movebat, et 
iam crura, et alae distincte cerni mcipiebant. 
Rostrum tamen interim muccosum adhuc erat. 
Sed forte quispiam quaerat, cur pnus 
supenores, quam inferiores partes in eiusmodi 
formatione appareant: cui responsum velim, 
virtutem, seu facultatem formatneem in 
supenonbus magis quam in inferionbus vigere, 
quod spintales sint, et per consequens plus 
caloris obtineant. Caeterum istaec omnia, quae 



Page 218 

- Chicken embryo* - Furthermore, on the eighth day 
the eyes appeared further larger, being that almost had 
the size of a chickpea. The entire body then moved 
swiftly and by now legs and wings began to be distinctly 
visible. Nevertheless the beak was meanwhile still of 
mucous texture. Perhaps someone might ask why in a 
formation of this sort the upper parts appear before the 
lower parts: I would like to reply to him that the 
formative force or faculty is stronger in the upper parts 
rather than in the lower ones, since the former are 
respiratory and consequently have more heat. 
Furthermore, all the things I saw on this day became 



439 Historia animalium VI,3, 561a 21-22: Nella zona inferiore del corpo non si distingue all'inizio chiaramente alcuna parte, se la si 
confronta con quella superiore. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

440 Historia animalium VI,3, 561a 17-21: Poco tempo dopo incomincia a differenziarsi anche il corpo, all'inizio piccolissimo e bianco. 
Si distingue chiaramente la testa, e in essa gli occhi che sono molto prominenti; questo stato perdura a lungo, perche essi diventano 
piccoli e si contraggono molto tardi. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 



106 



hac die videbam, sequenti mamfestiora 
apparebant. 

Decima die non amplius caput toto corpore 
maius erat, magnum tamen, ut in infantibus 
etiam videmus: magnitudims autem causa est 
humidissima cerebri constitutio. Quod vero 
Aristoteles dicit 441 oculos fabis maiores esse, id 
profecto minime verum est, si de vulganbus 
nostris fabis locutus fuent, cum alioqui ervi, 
vel ciceris albi magnitudinem non excederent: 
atque hmc etiam non absurde quispiam colligat 
fabas antiquorum fuisse rotundas, quales araci 
sunt, quern ideo fabam veterum quidam 
existimant. Neque etiam verum est quod 
tradit 442 , {tunc}, <tunc>, scilicet, oculos pupillis 
adhuc carere. Etenim hae non tantum hac die 
apparebant, sed duabus etiam praecedentibus, 
una cum omnibus partibus, ac humonbus. 
Quod vero ait detracta cute nihil solidi videri, sed 
humorem tantum candidum, rigidum, et refulgentem ad 
lucem, nee quicquam aliud, id de crystallmo 
humore mihi dixisse videtur, qui tamen haud 
solus apparebat, sed vitreus quoque et 
albugmeus, unde non parum hallucinatus 
videri potest Philosophus, uti etiam Albertus, 
qui eo tempore nihil dun, et glandulosi in us 
reperiri existimat, cum crystallinus humor 
solidus sit, ac quam maxime conspicuus. 

Eadem item die vidi omnia viscera, nempe cor, 
iecur, pulmonem. Cor autem, et lecur erant 
albican tis colons: et cordis motus non solum 
apparebat, antequam foetum apenrem, sed lam 
secto etiam thorace moven videbatur. Erat 
autem pullus mvolutus quartae llli membranae 
plurimis venis refertae 443 , ne in humore iaceret. 
Cernebam etiam vasa umbilicalia prope anum 
ad umbilicum defern, lbique mfer<r>i, ut 
cibum per ilium petat foetus. Vidi denique, 
quod Aristoteles non advertit, in dorso prope 
uropygium pennarum pnncipia nigricantia 
menti humani cuti non absimilia, cui pili abrasi 
smt. 



clearer on the following day. 

On the tenth day the head was no longer larger than the 
entire body, but it was large nevertheless, as we also see 
in newborn children: the reason for its bigness is the 
very humid constitution of the brain. As to the fact that 
Aristotle* says the eyes are larger than broad-beans, this is by 
no means true if he has spoken of our common broad- 
beans since generally they do not exceed a lentil or a 
white chickpea in size: and hence someone doesn't 
deduce absurdly that broad-beans of the ancients were 
round like wild peas - Visum arvense - are, whence some 
people think they are the broad-bean of the ancients. 
Nor is it true what he reports, that at that time the eyes 
still lack pupils. For not only did they appear on this day 
but also on the two previous days along with all their 
parts and humors. When he said nothing solid could be seen 
when the covering is removed but a snow-white humor, stiff and 
shining in the light, and nothing else, he seems to me to have 
said this of the crystalline humor, which, however, did 
not appear alone, but also the vitreous and albugmeous 
- sclera, hence the Philosopher seems to have got the 
wrong end of the stick, as Albertus* did also, who 
thinks that at this time there is nothing hard and 
glandulous, whereas the crystalline humor is solid and 
very well visible. 



On the same day I saw all the viscera, that is, heart, 
liver, lung. The heart and liver were of a whitish color: 
and the heart's movement not only was evident before I 
opened the foetus but it seemed to move even when the 
thorax had been cut. The chick was wrapped up in that 
fourth membrane — amnios - filled with many veins so 
that it would not become immersed in the liquid. I also 
saw the umbilical vasa near the anus going towards the 
umbilicus and entering there, so that the foetus might 
take its food through it. Finally, I saw something 
Anstotle does not mention: on the back near the 
uropygial gland* the blackish beginnings of the feathers, 
very similar to the skin of the human chin when its 
bristles have been shaved off. 



441 Historic! animalium VI,3, 561a 30-32: In questo periodo gli occhi sono prominenti, piu grandi di una fava e neri; se si asporta la 
pelle, vi si trova all'interno un liquido bianco e freddo, assai risplendente in piena luce, ma nulla di solido. (traduzione di Mario 
Vegetti) 

442 Historia animalium VI,3, 561a 28: Esso ha ancora la testa piu grande del resto del corpo, e gli occhi piu grandi della testa; e tuttora 
privi della vista, (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

443 Stavolta e Aldrovandi che verosimilmente prende un abbaglio in questo farraginoso sovrapporsi di membrane senza un nome 
specifico. Questa quarta membrana dovrebbe corrispondere all'amnios che, al contrario dell'allantoide, non e vascolarizzato, e 
dovrebbe corrispondere a quanto riferito da Aldrovandi a pagina 216 quando riporta la descrizione tratta da Aristotele. Infatti a 
pagina 216 leggiamo: Turn vero membrana alia circa ipsum foetum, ut dictum est, ducitur arcens humorem: sub qua vitellus alia 
obvolutus membrana, in quern umbelicus [umbilicus] a corde, ac vena maiore oriens pertinet, atque ita efficitur, ne foetus alterutro 
humore attingatur. 



107 



Die subsequenti haec omnia erant 
manifestiora, et in superioris rostelli 
extremitate erat quid albidi, cartilagineum, et 
subduriusculum, quod rursus die decimatertia 
magis erat conspicuum. Erat autem rotundum 
milii grano haud absimile. Sagacissima rerum 
parens natura id lbi fabncasse videtur, ut 
impediat, ne rostello suo vel venulas, vel 
membranulas, vel alias quascunque tenerrimas 
particulas pertundat. Aiunt mulierculae, pullos 
lam natos cibum capere non posse nisi prius id 
auferatur. 

Decimaquarta die pullus lam totus 
plumescebat. Decimaquinta in digitis ungues 
albicantes apparebant. Die vero decimasexta 
ovum aperire placuit in opposita parte, ubi 
nativa tunica, sed unica tantummodo 
apparebat, eaque alba. Alteram enim quam in 
altera parte semper videram, hie observare 
minime datum est. Itaque dubitabam an ea 
tantum pro albuminis tutela nata sit, cum 
scilicet ovum non sit recens, vel ad pulli 
defensionem in ovo incubato. Nam indies ilia 
magis magis que decidere videtur, et foetum 
sequi, qui sui gravitate deorsum decidit. 

Aristoteles etiam unicam tantum esse eiusmodi 
tunicam his verbis 444 videtur innuere. Sunt, 
mquit, quandoque locata ova hoc ordine, prima, 
postremaque ad testam oii membrana posita est, non 
testa ipsius nativa, sed altera Mi subiecta: liquor in ea 
candidus est, quasi diceret, omnes partes in ovo 
locatae sunt hoc ordine; nempe prima, 
postremaque ad testam ovi membrana posita 
est. Intelligit meo mdicio per pnmam, et 
postremam membranam, eas membra<na>s 
recens in incubato ovo genitas, eas videlicet, 
quas aliquoties appellavi tertiam secundmam, 
et quartam, quam involventem foetum dixi. 
Nam cum dicit testae nativam non esse, 
ostendit nee pnmam, nee secundam esse, quae 
ab altera ovi parte repentur. Videtur igitur 
excludere hanc nativam sive pnmam, vel 
secundam, et mtelligere tertiam, quam 
secundinam saepe vocavi. Cum vero dicit 445 , 
sed altera Mi subiecta, intelligit eandem, 
secundinam nempe testae subiectam, quod vel 
ex hoc maxime liquet, quod candidum in ea 



On the following day all these items were more evident, 
and on the extremity of the upper beak there was 
something whitish, cartilaginous and rather hard which 
afterwards, on the 13 th day, was more apparent — the 
diamond*. It was round, not dissimilar to a gram of 
millet. Nature, very shrewd parent of the things, seems 
to have built this here to prevent that with its little beak 
he bruises or little veins, or little membranes, or any 
other quite tender part. Farm women say that new-born 
chicks cannot take food unless this structure is first 
removed. 



On the fourteenth day the chick was already entirely 
covered with down. On the fifteenth, whitish nails 
appeared on its toes. On the sixteenth day I want to 
open the egg in the opposite part where was visible the 
tunic belonging to the shell, but only one, and it was 
white too. For the other one I ever had seen in the 
opposite side, in this point it is quite impossible to be 
observed. Thus I was doubtful whether it took birth 
only for the protection of the albumen when the egg is 
not recent or for the defense of the chick in the 
incubated egg. For day by day this tunic seems to fall 
down more and more and to follow the foetus, which 
falls downward because of its own weight. 

Also Aristotle by the following words seems to hint that 
such a tunic is only one. He says: Since the eggs are set up in 
this order, set against the eggshell there are a first and a second 
membrane, the latter not being that belonging to the shell, but 
being the other lying beneath the first one: there is a snow-white 
liquid in it, as if he was saying that in egg all parts are 
arranged in this order; and precisely that the first and 
the second membrane are set against the eggshell. He 
means, according to my judgment, by first and last 
membrane those membranes recently generated in the 
incubated egg, of course those which I sometimes called 
the third placental one — allantoid - and the fourth 
which I said is enveloping the foetus - amnios. For 
when he says that the membrane is not belonging to the 
shell he shows that it is neither the first, nor the second 
which is found in the other side of the egg. He 
therefore seems to exclude that this one belonging to 
the shell is the first or the second, and to understand 
that it is the third, which often I called afterbirth. For 
when he says, but the other lying beneath it, he means that 
same membrane, that is the afterbirth one, set against 
the shell, and this is very clear also from the fact that he 



444 Historia animalium VI,3, 561b 15-18: Ogni parte si trova cosi disposta nel modo seguente: in primo luogo, all'estrema periferia 
presso il guscio e'e la membrana dell'uovo, non quella del guscio ma quella al di sotto di essa. In questa e contenuto un fluido 
bianco, poi il pulcino, e attorno a esso una membrana che lo isola, affinche non sia immerso nel fluido; sotto il pulcino e sito il 
giallo, a cui porta una delle vene menzionate, mentre l'altra va al bianco circostante. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

445 Historic) animalium VI,3, 561b 17: Ogni parte si trova cosi disposta nel modo seguente: in primo luogo, all'estrema periferia presso 
il guscio e'e la membrana dell'uovo, non quella del guscio ma quella al di sotto di essa. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 



108 



liquorem inesse dicat. Is emm, ut supra 
ostendi, inter tertiam, et quartam continetur. 
Hinc manifesto errore Suessanus convincitur, 
qui ex Ephesio per pnmam interpretatur earn, 
quae testae adhaeret, per postremam vero, 
quae albumini. 

Quae omnia a nobis observata quotidie in 
sequentibus diebus evidentiora, utpote in 
perfectissimo pullo apparebant. Die vero 
vigesima pullus putamine a parente Gallma 
ablato hora vigesimasecunda sua sponte exivit. 
Sequens icon ostendit situm perfecti lam pulli 
in utero [ovo? 446 ]. 



says there is a snow-white liquid in it. For this liquid, as 
I showed above, is contained between the third and 
fourth ones. Hence the Suessanus - Agostino Nifo* - 
proves to be in manifest error for he interprets from 
Michael of Ephesus* as first membrane that which 
adheres to the shell and as last that which adheres to the 
albumen. 

All these things I daily observed became more evident 
in the following days, since they were appearing in a 
quite perfected chick. On the twentieth day, the shell 
being removed by mother hen, on the twenty-second 
hour the chick came out by himself. The following 
picture shows the position of a by now completed chick 
in the uterus. 



[219] 



Post exclusionem repen in putamine tunicas 
duas albas nativas una cum duabus aliis in 
incubatu genitis, secundma nempe, et quae 
foetum ipsum involverat, in qua excrementum 
adhuc inerat subalbidum. Evidenter adhuc 
apparebant in pullo tna ilia vasa umbilicalia, 
duae scilicet artenae, et vena una, et onficium 
umbilici valde erat contractum. Vena vero 
lecon per alium ramum, qui recta ad lllud 
tendebat, insen videbatur. Mirum autem erat, 
quod extra id nihil lutei appareret, cum tamen 
in cavitate abdominis, ubi lntestina sunt, prope 
anum pullus per umbilicum totum fere id 
absorbuerat, simul cum quinta tunica, quae id 
involverat. Tanta autem ibi lutei inerat copia, 
ut vix duplo plus sit in ovo nondum incubato. 




Page 219 

After the chick was hatched I found in the shell its two 
white tunics together with the two other created during 
incubation, and precisely the placental one — allantoid - 
and that which had enveloped the foetus itself — amnios 
- in which a whitish secretion was still present. In the 
chick they were still quite clearly visible those three 
umbilical vessels, that is, two arteries and one vein, and 
the opening of the umbilicus was greatly shrunk. It was 
possible to see the vein to plug into the liver by another 
branch which was straight going towards it. It was 
remarkable that, besides this, nothing of the yolk was 
visible, since through the umbilicus the chick had 
absorbed it almost completely in the abdominal cavity 
where the intestinal loops are near the anus, along with 
the fifth tunic which had enveloped the yolk. For there 
was so great a quantity of yolk that in an egg not yet 



446 Forse non si tratta di una svista di Aldrovandi, bensi di una conseguenza delle elucubrazioni di Aristotele contenute in De 
generatione animalium e riportate da Aldrovandi a pagina 215, per cui negli ovipari l'uovo corrisponderebbe a un utero materno 
staccato dalla madre. 



109 



Aristoteles etiam scripsit 447 , detima ab ortu die si 
alvus abscindatur aliquid adhuc lutei in ea conspici. 
Sed consideratione in primis dignum est, 
quomodo eiusmodi membrana, quam una cum 
vitello a pullo absumi diximus, post eijciatur. 
Videtur autem dicendum, quod per eandem 
viam, {umbilicum} <umbilicum> videlicet, 
regredi debeat, vel per anum, quod potius 
credo. Tunicae huic duo vasa lmplantantur, 
quorum unum artenam esse, et a corde 
proficisci pulsus mdicat: alterum vena est, 
deferturque ad intestina, lutei videlicet 
vehiculum{:} <.> Hepar erat coloris admodum 
lutei, forte quod ex luteo per venas attracto 
nutriatur. 

Praetereo modo tntam lllam, ideoque otiosam 
potius, quam curiosam quaestionem, num 
Gallma prior ovo sit, an contra. Constat enim 
Gallmam fuisse pnus ex sacris biblns, quae 
docent animalia ab initio mundi fuisse creata: 
non lgitur ex ovo Gallma, sed ex nihilo. Quod 
si vero quis obstinatius dicat, omnia quae sunt 
aliquando coepisse, ideoque ovum a natura 
iure prius factum videri, quoniam quod mcipit, 
imperfectum adhuc, et informe sit, et ad 
perfectionem sui per procedentis artis, et 
temp oris additamenta formetur. {. Ille} <, 
ille> facile acquieturus est, dum ovum, cuius 
est, nee mitium, nee finem esse sciat. Nam 
mitium semen est, finis avis ipsa formata, 
ovum vero seminis digestio. Cum igitur semen 
animalis sit, et ovum seminis: ovum sane ante 
animal esse non potuit. Quod si rursus ova 
avium semmaria esse dicat, ipsum quid semen 
sit ignorare dicam. Semen autem ex 
Philosophorum sententia, generatio est ad eius, 
ex quo est, similitudinem pergens. Quomodo 
itaque queat ad similitudinem rei pergi, quae 
necdum est? Sic etiam neque semen ex eo, 
quod nondum subsistit, emanat. Verum de hac 
quaestione Plutarchum 448 , Macrobium 449 lector 
consulere potent, qui exacte earn tractant. 
Nobis enim diutius ei immorari et locus, et 
tempus prohibent. 



incubated there is barely more than twice of that 
amount. Aristotle* also wrote that if on the tenth day from 
birth the abdomen is cut, one can still see some of the yolk in it. 
But it is worth noting first of all how a membrane of 
this sort, which I said is absorbed by the chick together 
with the yolk, is later thrust out. It seems we should say 
that it ought to move out through the same passage, 
that is, the umbilicus, or through the anus, which I 
should prefer to believe. Two vessels are implanted in 
this tunic, one of these being an artery, and its pulsation 
indicates that it proceeds from the heart: the other is a 
vein and goes to the intestinal loops, evidently the 
vehicle of the yolk. The liver was of a rather yellow 
color, perhaps because it was nourished by the yolk 
attracted through the veins. 

I barely glance at that trite and then otiose rather than 
curious question, whether the hen exists before the egg 
or vice versa. It turns out from the Scriptures that the 
hen existed first, and they teach that animals were 
created from the beginning of the world: hence the hen 
does not come from the egg but from nothing. But if 
someone rather stubbornly should affirm that all things 
which exist began in a given moment, and that 
therefore the egg rightly seems to have been created 
first by Nature, since what has a beginning is still 
imperfect and formless and it makes its way to its 
perfection by a progressive addition of work and time, 
he would easily calm himself, since he must know that 
an egg, whosever it is, is neither the beginning nor the 
end. For the beginning is the semen, the end is the 
formed bird itself, but the egg is the concoction of the 
semen. Since therefore the semen is of the animal, and 
the egg is of the semen, obviously the egg cannot will 
have been before the animal. But if, on the other hand, 
he should affirm that birds' eggs are seedbeds, I should 
say he does not know what a semen is. For, according 
to the philosophers' point of view, a semen is a 
procreation proceeding towards the likeness of that 
from which it comes. How then could it proceed 
towards the likeness of something which does not yet 
exist? Thus also the semen does not proceed from what 
does not yet exist. Concerning this question the reader 
might consult Plutarch* and Macrobius*, who treat it 
exactly. For both time and space prevent me from 
lingering on it any longer. 



447 Historia animalium VI,3, 562a 14-16: Da ultimo il giallo, che e andato sempre diminuendo, finisce per essere del tutto consumato 
e assorbito nel pulcino, tanto che, se si seziona il pulcino dopo ben dieci giorni dall'uscita dall'uovo, si trova ancora un poco di 
giallo rimasto attaccato all'intestino; pero e separato dal cordone ombelicale e non ve n'e phi nel tratto intermedio, perche e stato 
interamente consumato. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

448 Symposia, 2. (Aldrovandi) — Symposia (Quaestiones conviviales) , II 3,1 sgg. (= pag. 635D sgg.) 

449 Saturnalia, VII. (Aldrovandi) - Aldrovandi rimaneggia un poco il testo di Macrobio VII,16: "Si concedimus omnia quae sunt 
aliquando coepisse, ovum prius a natura factum iure aestimabitur. Semper enim quod incipit inperfectum adhuc et informe est et ad 
perfectionem sui per praecedentis artis et temporis additamenta formatur: ergo [...]" e, oltre a rimaneggiarlo, usa l'espressione 
procedentis artis invece di praecedentis artis. 



110 



Panunt Gallmae, Perdicesque ova complura, 
ut, Aristoteles tradidit, et Plinius ex eo repetiit, 
et quotidiana expenentia docet: aliae tamen 
aliis plura pro aetatis ratione: iuvencae enim, 
teste Plinio 450 plura, quam veteres, sed minora, 
et in eodem foetu prima ac novissima pariunt. 
Quare Varro 451 anniculas ad partum, aut bimas 
appositissimas dicebat. Confecta vero bruma 
parere fere mcipiunt, atque earum, quae sunt 
foecundissimae locis tepidionbus circa 
calendas Ianuanas, frigidis eodem mense post 
idus 452 . Coeunt autem, et pariunt omnibus anni 
temponbus, exceptis brumalibus diebus, teste 
Aristotele 453 , qui tamen alibi binos brumales 
menses excipit, quam postremam sententiam 
Plinius sequutus est, et experientia 
comprobat 454 . Panunt tamen nonnullae et his 
diebus sed raro. Sunt quae tarn multa panant, 
ut id bis etiam die faciant. Sed tales, teste 
Aristotele 455 , cito pereunt. Hyperinae 456 enim, 
id est, exhaustae, effoetaeque et aves, et 
plantae fiunt. Optima foetura est, quae ante 
vernum aequinoctium {ajeditur. Post 
solstitium nata non implent magnitudinem 
iustam, tantoque minus quanto serius 
provenere. Unde dicebat M. Varro 457 : Aiunt 



Hens and partridges* lay many eggs, as Aristotle reports 
and Pliny* quoted from him, and as daily experience 
teaches us: however some birds lay more than others 
because of their age: for young birds lay more than old 
ones, according to Pliny, but eggs are smaller and in a 
same laying career they are such the first and the last 
ones. Therefore Varro* said that year-old or two-year- 
old hens were best for laying. They chiefly begin to lay 
when winter is over, and in warmer places the most 
fertile among them do lay around the kalends of January 
-January 1st, in cold places in the same month after the 
ides - January 13th. They have coitus and lay at all times 
of the year, however, except during the winter days, 
according to Aristotle, who nevertheless elsewhere 
excepts a couple of winter months, and Pliny followed 
this affirmation and the experience confirms it. Some 
hens lay even during these days, but seldom. There are 
some hens who lay so many eggs that they do so also 
twice a day. But such hens, according to Aristotle, die in 
a short time. For both plants and animals become 
hyperinae, that is, exhausted and worn out by delivery. It 
is the best breed-product that one which takes place 
before the vernal equinox. Those laid after the summer 
solstice do not reach their proper size, and the less the 
more later they have been laid. Hence Marcus Varro 
said: They say the best delivery is that from the vernal until the 



450 Aristotele D 'e generatione animalium 111,1, 749b: Negli uccelli pesanti e che non volano, come nei polli, nelle pernici e in tutti gli altri 
di questo tipo, siffatto residuo si produce abbondantemente; per questo i maschi sono propensi al coito e le femmine emettono 
abbondante materia. Alcuni di siffatti uccelli depongono molte uova, altri di frequente: molte la gallina per esempio, la pernice e lo 
struzzo, mentre i colombidi non ne depongono molte, ma frequentemente. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) — Plinio Naturalis historic! 
X,146: Quaedam omni tempore coeunt, ut gallinae, et pariunt, praeterquam duobus mensibus hiemis brumalibus. Ex iis iuvencae 
plura quam veteres, sed minora, et in eodem fetu prima ac novissima. Est autem tanta fecunditas ut aliquae et sexagena pariant, 
aliquae cotidie, aliquae bis die, aliquae in tantum ut effetae moriantur. Hadrianis laus maxima. 

451 Rjmirn rusticarum 111,9,9: Adpositissimae ad partum sunt anniculae autbimae. 

452 Columella, De re rustica VIII,5,1: Confecta bruma parere fere id genus avium consuevit. Atque earum quae sunt fecundissimae 
locis tepidioribus circa Kalendas Ianuarias ova edere incipiunt, frigidis autem regionibus eodem mense post Idus. - Ai tempi di 
Columella il calendario giuliano, voluto da Giulio Cesare nel 46 aC, era in uso ormai da circa un secolo, per cui le idi di gennaio 
cadevano al 13 anziche al 15 dello stesso mese. 

453 Historia animalium V,13, 544a 24-544b 11 (passim): Quanto agli uccelli domestici, o che possono essere addomesticati, essi 
depongono uova piu volte, per esempio i colombi, che lo fanno lungo tutta l'estate, e il genere dei gallinacei, nel cui ambito i maschi 
effettuano il coito e le femmine lo subiscono e depongono uova in ogni stagione, tranne che nei giorni del solstizio d'inverno. <...> 
I colombi depongono uova e le covano in ogni stagione, se sono prowisti di un luogo caldo e di tutto il necessario; altrimenti, solo 
d'estate. Le covate migliori risultano quelle della primavera e dell'autunno, mentre quelle estive, cioe delle giornate molto calde, 
sono le meno buone. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

454 Historia animalium VI,1, 558b 13-14: E il caso ad esempio della gallina e della colomba; la prima anzi genera tutto l'anno ad 
eccezione dei due mesi del solstizio invernale. V,13, 544a 33: Quanto agli uccelli domestici, o che possono essere addomesticati, essi 
depongono uova piu volte, per esempio i colombi, che lo fanno lungo tutta l'estate, e il genere dei gallinacei, nel cui ambito i maschi 
effettuano il coito e le femmine lo subiscono e depongono uova in ogni stagione, tranne che nei giorni del solstizio d'inverno 
(traduzione di Mario Vegetti) — Plinio Naturalis historia X, 146: Quaedam omni tempore coeunt, ut gallinae, et pariunt, praeterquam 
duobus mensibus hiemis brumalibus. 

455 Y) e generatione animalium 111,1, 750a 29-30: Anche alcune galline che hanno deposto troppe uova, persino due al giorno, dopo 
questa ricca produzione muoiono. Sia gli uccelli sia le piante sono completamente consumati e questa affezione consiste 
nell'eccesso di escrezione del residuo. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 

456 L'aggettivo greco hyperinos significa purgato eccessivamente, estenuato da eccessiva fecondita. 

457 Si emenda in base al testo edito dalla UTET nel 1974 e che e il seguente: ab aequinoctio verno ad autumnale. Aldrovandi ha fatto 
il download da pagina 426/427 della Historia animalium III (1555) di Conrad Gessner, ma il testo di Varrone citato da Gessner non 
ha assolutamente senso. — Varrone Rerum rusticarum 111,9,9: Optimum esse partum ab aequinoctio verno ad autumnale. Itaque quae 



111 



optimum esse partum {aequinoctio verno, aut 
<ab aequinoctio verno ad autumnale>. 
quae ante, autpostea nata sunt, et etiam prima 
eo tempore non supponenda. Sed de differentns 
partus supra diximus. 

Panturam sese Gallma clamore prodit, 
eodemque pepensse se testatur, quod si 
impediatur, mox tamen sibi relicta cantum 
absolvit: eiusmodi cantum Columella 458 
singultum appellasse videri potest, dum ait: 
Parituras se Gallinae testantur crebris singultibus 
interiecta voce acuta. Sunt qui dolere eas, cum 
panunt, arbitrantur. Ambrosius Nolanus 
quaerens cur solae Gallinae parto ovo 
gracillent, sive cantent: An quia, mquit, turn 
maxime dolent, non eo quod exiens ovum 
laesit, sed quoniam locus vacuus factus aerem 
suscepit fngidum, quo pacto et lotium 
facientibus, dum vesica inanita est, aerem 
capiens dolorem movet quendam. Verum 
nunquid ob mgressum in vulvam aerem 
doleant, si modo verum est, quod doleant, aliis 
dnudicandum reli<n>quo. Profecto parere eas 
sine dolore ex Anstotele colligitur, dum, ut 
antea quoque diximus, testam membranam 
mollem [220] fuisse scribat ante partum. 



autumnal equinox. Thus the eggs laid before or after, and even the 
first ones laid at that time should not be set under the hens for 
incubation. But I have spoken above of the different 
features of egg-laying. 

A hen by cackling lets know that she is about to lay, and 
still by cackling announces that she laid, but if 
prevented from doing this, as soon as left to herself she 
breaks out her song: it seems that Columella* called this 
song a hiccup when he says: Hens announce that they are 
about to lay by frequent hiccups with inteposition of a shrill call. 
There are people who think hens are in pain when they 
lay eggs. Ambrogio Leone* - Ambrosius Leo Nolanus - 
when wondering why only hens caw, or sing after laid 
the egg, he says: Perhaps because they are then especially 
pained, not because in passing out the egg has wounded them, but 
because the place made empty has received cold air, as it happens 
also to those who are urinating, where the vesica, when empty out, 
in receiving air is bringing them a certain pain. To say the 
truth, I leave for others to judge whether they are in 
pain because of entrance of air into genital apparatus, if 
really it is true that they grieve. Without any doubt it can 
be gathered from Aristotle that they lay without pain 
since, as I said earlier, he writes that before delivery the 
shell is a soft wrapper. 



Page 220 



Testa, inquit 459 , membrana mollis fuit. Id enim quod 
testa futumm est: perfecto ovo, durum ac rigidum ita 
modice evadit, ut exeat adhuc molle. Dolorem enim 
movent, nisi ita exiret. Egressum statim refrigeratum 
duratur, evaporato humore quam primum, qui exiguus 
inest, relictaque portione terrena. 

Nee obstat, quod aliquando visa fuennt ova 
cruore suffusa, quale mihi allatum fuit {ad} 
<a.d.> XVI. Kal. Maii, domi meae natum, cuius 



The shell, Aristotle* says, has been a soft membrane. For 
what is destined to be the shell is as follows: when the egg is 
completed it comes out so moderately hard and stiff that it comes 
forth still soft. For it would provoke pain if it did not issue in 
this manner. After it came out, being immediately cooled, it 
hardens as at once its moisture evaporates, which is slight, and 
the earthly portion remains. 

Nor it is clashing the fact that sometimes eggs have 
been seen to be suffused with blood, such as that laid 
in my farm which was brought to me on the sixteenth 



ante aut post nata sunt et etiam prima eo tempore, non supponenda; et ea quae subicias, potius vetulis quam pullitris, et quae rostra 
aut ungues non habeant acutos, quae debent potius in concipiendo occupatae esse quam incubando. Adpositissimae ad partum sunt 
anniculae aut bimae. 

458 La fonte della citazione e Alberto Magno*, come possiamo desumere da Conrad Gessner Historia animalium III (1555) pag. 415: 
Gallina cum clamore accedit ad nidum, et cum clamore ab eodem recedit. quod si impediatur, mox tamen sibi relicta cantum 
absolvit, Albert. - Lo schiamazzo della gallina quando sta recandosi al nido e quando ne esce e owiamente in rapporto al fatto die 
deve deporre l'uovo e clie l'ha deposto. Ala Aldrovandi, rimaneggiando il testo di Gessner die sta citando Alberto, grazie a delle 
tortuosita sintattiche a lui congeniali sembra fare un'affermazione clie ha tutto il sapore di un sadismo nei confronti della gallina: 
parrebbe clie qualcuno si sia messo in testa non di impedire alia gallina di uscire dal nido, bensi di deporre l'uovo, clie so, 
tappandole magari l'orifizio cloacale con un dito. Si traduce il testo cosi come proposto da Aldrovandi, ma Alberto ha voluto dire 
tutt'altro: se blocchiamo la gallina nel nido essa non canta nonostante abbia deposto l'uovo, mentre si mette subito a cantare non 
appena viene lasciata libera di abbandonare il nido. - Columella De re rustica VIII,5: Adsiduus autem debet esse custos et speculari 
parientes, quod se facere gallinae testantur crebris singultibus interiecta voce acuta. 

459 Aristotele, De generatione animalium 111,2, 752a 31 -752b 1: Tuttavia non ci si accorge che cio che diventa guscio e in principio una 
membrana molle, e compitosi l'uovo diventa duro e secco in modo tanto tempestivo che esce ancora molle (procurerebbe 
altrimenti sofferenza a deporlo) e appena uscito, raffreddatosi si consolida, perche l'umido evapora velocemente data la sua 
scarsezza e rimane l'elemento terroso. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 



112 



putamen totum erat punctis, et maculis, et 
lineolis sanguineis cruentatum, non enim id ex 
uteri laesione fieri putanm, sed potius ob 
diapedesim, seu transudationem copiosioris 
sanguinis, quo venas uteri plus aequo aliquando 
turgere contingit. 

Oppianus 460 scribit facilius parere, si festucam e 
terra ore apprehensam dorso imposuerint: sed 
credere illi sine superstitione hac in re non 
possum: scio tamen Gallmas panentes eiusmodi 
festucas saepe ore contrectare, 

pericarphismumque Plutarcho 461 dici, cum 
Gallmae, ut scribit Theophrastus, quod 
Aristoteles 462 etiam posuit, et est a Plinio 463 
repetitum, {ajedito ovo, ceu religione quadam 
sese, et ova lustrant. Illud etiam admirandum 
videtur, cur noctu tenera panant, eademque nisi 
ad magnam usque diei partem completa, ac dura. 
Sed hoc rursus admirabilius, quod quae alias 
tenera erant {ajediturae, dura parturiant, si 
aliquas horas antelucanas viderint lucernae 
lumen, ita ut sub ortum Soils cogantur ea parere 
pauculo sale supposito, quo ingenio utuntur 
gulae magistri, dum ova recentissima sorbenda 
parant. Causam huius rei reddere conatur 
Ambrosius Nolanus 464 hoc modo: quod scilicet 
lumen ignis visum, sensumque Gallmarum 
obtenebret, ac perturbet, quamobrem velut 
stupidae, et ebriae nihil cogitant de cibo parando, 
quaerendoque, sed potius sileant, cubentque ac 
facillime se et capi, et tractan smant. Quod si 
vero eo tempore lumen absit, turn antelucanis 
hons surgant, sedesque deserant, cibum sibi 
quaesiturae, unde veluti relicto officio 
concoquendi ovum nisi post Soils ortum 
durescere queat. Concoquere vero turn maxime, 
cum nihil vident, aut visu turbantur, signum est, 
quod obcaecatae acu Gallmae, Capique, 
caeteraeque volucres minfice pinguescant. 



day before the kalends of May - April 16th, whose 
entire shell was gory by specks, spots, and little steaks, 
and I wouldn't think that this is occurring from injury 
to the uterus but rather because of diapedesis, or 
transudation of some quantity of blood, owing to 
which the veins of the uterus sometimes happen to 
swell up more than normally. 

Oppian from Apamea* writes that hens lay more 
easily if they place upon their back a blade plucked 
from the ground with the mouth: but I cannot believe 
him without superstition: however, I know that when 
hens are laying often wield such straws with the 
mouth, and that by Plutarch* this is called 
perikarphismbs — the covering themselves with straw, 
being that the hens after laid an egg, as Theophrastus* 
writes, and also Aristotle affirmed and is repeated by 
Pliny*, as for a sort of ritual they purify themselves 
and eggs. It also seems strange why they lay soft eggs 
at night and the same eggs are not complete and hard 
but when a large part of the day has passed. But it is 
more strange that those hens who otherwise would 
have laid soft eggs, they lay hard eggs if they saw the 
light of a lantern some hours before dawn, so that 
they are forced to lay their eggs at about sunrise with 
a little salt placed under them, an ingenious expedient 
used by gastronomy experts when they get very fresh 
eggs for sucking. Ambrogio Leone* - Ambrosius Leo 
Nolanus - tries to explain the reason for this in the 
following manner: for the light of the fire dims and 
perturbs the vision and the perception's faculty of 
hens, thus like dazed and drunken creatures they give 
no thought to getting or seeking food, but on the 
contrary keep silent and roost, and allow themselves 
to be taken and handled very easily. But if at that time 
there is no light, then they rise in the hours before 
dawn, desert their pens looking for food, hence, 
having been so to speak abandoned the job of 
concoction, the egg cannot get hard but after sunrise. 
For that the more they devote themselves to the 
concoction the less they see nothing or are not 



460 Ixeutica. (Aldrovandi) 

461 Symposia (Quaestiones conviviaks), VII 2,1 sgg. (= pag. 700D sgg.): "E se noi spesso siamo in difficolta per le domande degli amici, e 
in particolare perche Teofrasto <f. 175 Wimmer> indie treggiare davanti a questa domanda sulle opere dove aveva riunito e studiato 
un numero di fenomeni..., per esempio il comportamento delle galline die, quando depongono le uova, si circondano di 
pagliuzze..." 

462 Historic! animalium V,2, 560b 7-9: Dopo l'accoppiamento esse arruffano le piume e si scuotono, e spesso gettano festuche tutto 
attorno (la stessa cosa fanno talvolta anche dopo la posa), mentre le colombe trascinano al suolo la coda e le oche si tuffano in 
acqua. (traduzione Mario Vegetti) 

463 Naturalis historia X,116: Villaribus gallinis et religio inest. Inhorrescunt edito ovo excutiuntque sese et circumactae purificant aut 
festuca aliqua sese et ova lustrant. 

464 Ambrosius of Nola Emblemata 160. He is also known as Leo Nolanus and Leone Ambrogio. The Emblemata are not listed 
separately among the works of this sixteenth-century "writer in either the British Museum or Bibliotheque nationale catalogs, but are 
probably contained in either his Castigationes adversus Averroem or the Novum Opus Quaestionum, neither available for inspection. (Lind, 
1963) 



113 



Solent in Gallmariis alveoli lignei, sive cistulae 
vimmeae disponi, in quibus Gallmae sine 
ovorum detrimento facilius parturiant. Eiusmodi 
cistulas etiam vascula vimmea appellant, 
Varro 465 , et Columella 466 Gallmarum cubilia, 
Apuleius 467 {calatha} <calathos>, et lecticulas, 
cum ait: Heus puer calathum foetui Gallinaceo 
destinatum angulo solito collocato, ita uti fuerit iussum 
puero procurante GalRna consuetae lecticulae, spreto 
cubili, etc. Quibus verbis etiam mdicat, suo aevo 
eiusmodi lectos in angulis Gallinariorum solere 
locari, ut nostri agricolae hodierno tempore 
adhuc etiam faciunt. Quod vero apud veteres 
etiam stramen vasculis illis imponerent, colligo 
quoque ex Iuvenale 468 . 

Grandia praeterea tortoque cakntiaj\o)eno 
Ova adsunt ipsis cum matribus. 
Libentius vero, et commodius pariunt, cum lam 
pnus ovum in nido conspiciunt: quamobrem 
cum aliqua ova tarn propria quam aliena 
ex<s>orbent, aliqui marmor, vel similem 
lapidem candidum ad ovi similitudinem 
efformatum nido imponunt. 

Ovum autem cum perfectum est, et 
monstrositatis expers, bicolor est, forma tereti, et 
pene sphaerali. Sed cum in his ammalibus, 
quorum partus numerosus est, monstra saepe 
nascantur, et praecipue in avium genere, 
earumque potissimum in Gallinis, ut 
Aristo teles 469 docet, itaque quam breviter fieri 
poterit, de monstrosis partubus aliquid dicamus. 



troubled when seeing, it is shown by the fact that 
hens blinded with a needle, as well as capons and 
other birds, grow wonderfully fat. 

They are usually placed in hen houses wooden tubs or 
small wicker baskets in which the hens can more easily 
lay without injury to eggs. They call these baskets also 
wicker vessels, Varro* and Columella* call them nests, 
Apuleius* calls them baskets and nests when he says: 
"Hey boy, place in the usual corner the basket destined to the hen 's 
eggs laying. " When the boy was doing as he was ordered, the hen, 
after she refused as bed the usual nest, etc. By these words he 
also indicates that in his time beds of this kind were 
usually set in the corners of hen houses, as still now 
today also our farmers do That also among ancients they 
arranged straw on these containers I gather from 
Juvenal* too: 
furthermore there are large and warm eggs in the twisted straw 

with the mother hens themselves. 
But they lay more willingly and better if already 
beforehand they see an egg in the nest: therefore 
when they swallow some egg, either its own or of 
someone else, some people place in the nest marble 
or a similar snow-white egg-shaped stone. 



When the egg is completed and free from anomalies, it 
is of two colors, roundish in shape and almost spherical. 
But since among those animals whose offspring is large, 
freaks are often born, and especially in the genus of 
birds, and among these firstly in hens, as Aristotle points 
out, then let me say something as briefly as I can about 
monstrous births. The Philosopher thinks and proves in 
the passage already referred that their cause is in the 



465 Rerum rusticarum 111,9,7: Inter duas ostium sit, qua gallinarius, curator earum, ire possit. In caveis crebrae perticae traiectae sint, ut 
omnes sustinere possint gallinas. Contra singulas perticas in pariete exclusa sint cubilia earum. 

466 Y) e re m stica VIII,3,4-5: Nam etiam in his ipsis locis ita crassos parietes aedificare convenit, ut excisa per ordinem gallinarum 
cubilia recipiant, in quibus aut ova edantur aut excludantur pulli. Hoc enim et salubrius et elegantius est quam illud quod quidam 
faciunt, ut palis in parietis vehementer actis vimineos qualos superponant. [5] Sive autem parietibus ita ut diximus cavatis aut qualis 
vimineis praeponenda erunt vestibula, per quae matrices ad cubilia vel pariendi vel incubandi causa perveniant. Neque enim debent 
ipsis nidis involare, ne dum adsiliunt pedibus ova confringant. 

467 Metamorphoseon IX, 33: Et "heus", inquit "puer calathum fetui gallinaceo destinatum angulo solito collocato." Ita, uti fuerat 
iussum, procurante puero gallina consuetae lecticulae spreto cubili ante ipsius pedes domini praematurum sed magno prorsus 
futurum scrupulo partum. Non enim ovum, quod scimus, illud; sed pinnis et unguibus et oculis et voce etiam perfectum edidit 
pullum, qui matrem suam coepit continuo comitari. 

468 Satira XI,70-71: Grandia praeterea tortoque calentia feno | ova adsunt ipsis cum matribus, et servataef...] 

469 De generatione animalium IV,4, 770a 6-23: Ma in generale si deve piuttosto pensare che la causa stia nella materia e negli embrioni 
quando si costituiscono. Percio siffatte anomalie si producono assai raramente negli unipari, e piu nei multipari e soprattutto negli 
uccelli, e tra gli uccelli nei polli. Questi non sono solo multipari perche depongono spesso uova, come il genere dei colombi, ma 
perche portano contemporaneamente molti prodotti del concepimento, e si accoppiano in ogni stagione. Percio producono molti 
gemelli: i prodotti del concepimento grazie alia reciproca vicinanza si formano insieme, come molti frutti fanno talvolta. In tutti 
quelli che hanno i tuorli defmiti dalla membrana nascono due piccoli separati senza alcuna superfetazione, mentre in quelli che 
hanno i tuorli contigui e senza alcuna interruzione i piccoli nascono anomali con un corpo e una testa, ma quattro gambe e quattro 
ali, perche le parti superiori dell'animale si formano prima e dal bianco, essendo controllato il loro alimento proveniente dal tuorlo, 
mentre la parte inferiore si forma dopo e l'alimento e unico e indistinto. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 



114 



Eorum causam in materia esse, et putat, et 
probat lam citato loco Philosophus earn autem 
in Gallims magis, quam Columbis, quarum 
partus tamen etiam numerosus est, abundare, 
non moclo, quod saepe panant, ut illae, 
verumetiam quod multos simul conceptus intra 
se contineant, et omnibus temponbus coeant. 
Hinc etiam gemina parere plura. Cohaerere enim 
conceptus, quoniam in propinquo alter alten sit, 
quomodo interdum fructus arborum complures. 
Quod si vitelli distinguantur membrana, gemmos 
pullos discretos sine ulla supervacua parte 
generari. Sin vitelli continuentur, nee ulla 
mtenecta membrana disterminentur, pullos ex 
his monstnficos prodire corpore, et capite uno, 
crunbus quaternis, alls totidem, quoniam 
supenora ex albumme generentur, et prius, 
(vitellus enim eis cibus est) pars autem inferior 
postea instituatur, quanquam cibus idem, 
indiscretusque suppeditetur. Albertus etiam 
propter corruptionem vitelli, unde alimentum 
suppeditandum erat, pullum vult imperfecte 
forman, et quasdam partes in ipso non absolutas 
invenin, aut simul coniunctas, ut in abortu 
animalis vivipan ante perfectionem 

lineamentorum foetus. 

Non debebant itaque antiqui eiusmodi monstra 
prodign loco habere, si ex nimia matenae 
abundantia nasci certum est. Iulius Obsequens 470 
author est, C. Claudio, M. Perpenna Coss. 
pullum Gallmaceum quadrupedem natum esse, 
et prodign loco habitum. Ego aliquot 
monstrorum icones suo loco exibiturus sum. 
Caeterum Gallmae nonnullae, ut idem 
Aristo teles 471 alibi author est, ova mollia, hoc est. 
sine testa panunt vitio, quae Albertus inter 
subventanea annumerat. Nicander existimat 
eiusmodi ova parere propter ictum, vel propter 
multitudinem ovorum se invicem 

comprimentium. 



material and that this is more abundant in hens than in 
doves, whose offspring is however large too, and not 
only because they lay often like the former ones, but 
also because the hens contain simultaneously many 
products of conception within themselves and copulate 
at all seasons. Hence they lay also several twin eggs. For 
the products of conception cling together, since they are 
close each other, as sometimes it happens when the 
fruits of trees are very numerous. But if the yolks are 
separated by a membrane, separate twin chicks are 
generated without any exceeding part. But if the yolks 
are held together nor are bounded by any interposed 
membrane, from them they hatch freak chicks with one 
body and one head, with four legs and as many wings, 
since the upper parts are generated from the albumen, 
and earlier, (for the yolk is food for them), while the 
lower part comes into existence afterwards, although an 
identical and equal food is supplied. Also Albertus* 
thinks that the chick grows up imperfectly because of 
the corruption of the yolk whence the food had to be 
supplied, and that in it - the chick - they are found some 
parts which did not come untied, or which are joined 
together, as in an abortion of a viviparous animal before 
the perfection of the lineaments of the foetus. 



Thus the ancients should not have regarded 
monstrosities of this kind as a prodigy, being that it is 
certain that they are created from a too great abundance 
of matter. Julius Obsequens* tells us that in the 
consulship of Cams Claudius and Marcus Perpenna* a 
gallinaceous chick was born with four legs, and that it 
was regarded as a prodigy. I shall exhibit some pictures 
of monstrosities in their proper place. Furthermore, 
some hens, as elsewhere Aristotle writes, lay soft eggs, 
that is without shell*, because of a fault, which Albertus 
reckons among wind-eggs. Nicander* thinks they lay 
eggs of this kind because of a blow or because of the 
large number of eggs pressing against each other. 



Page 221 



cap. 53, C. Claudio Al. Perpenna coss. Bubo in aede Fortunae Equestris comprehensus inter manus expiravit. 
Faesulis fremitus terrae auditus. Puer ex ancilla natus sine foramine naturae qua humor emittitur. Mulier duplici natura inventa. Fax 
in caelo visa. Bos locuta. Examen apium in culmine privatae domus consedit. Volaterris sanguinis rivus manavit. Romae lacte pluit. 
Arretii duo androgyni inventi. Pullus gallinaceus quadripes natus. Fulmine pleraque icta. Supplicatio fuit. Populus Cereri et 
Proserpinae stipem tulit. Virgines viginti septem carmen canentes urbem lustraverunt. Maedorum in Macedonia gens provinciam 
cruente vastavit. [anno 662 ab Urbe condita - 92 aC] 

471 Historia animalium VI,2 559a 15-18: L'uovo di tutti gli uccelli ha sempre un guscio duro - se risulta da una fecondazione e non e 
guasto, perche certe galline depongono uova molli - ed e bicolore, risultando bianco alia periferia, giallo all'interno. (traduzione di 
Mario Vegetti) 



115 



Praeterea Albertus 472 ovum se observasse tradit 
prorsus sphaericum [221] duabus testis 
intectum, una intra alteram, cum albumme 
aquoso tenui inter utranque absque ullo vitello, 
et altero etiam albumine intra interiorem 
testam. Idem refert, hypenemia dari exteriori 
testa carentia, sed membranam tantum 
habentia, quae testae subijci solet. Putat autem 
hoc inde fieri, quoniam talia ova humida sunt, 
et aquosa, et exiguo calore praedita, maxime si 
cibo humido Gallmae nutnantur. Sunt qui 
trilecitha 473 , id est, triplicis vitelli ova reperiri 
dicunt, eaque in medio testae plerunque 
cavitatem habere, ut {Elluchasim} 
<Elluchasem> sese intellexisse scribit 474 . 
Ornithologus 475 enarrat, se aliquando ovum 
vidisse, cuius putamen ab altera parte extrema 
in angustum velut collum mstar cucurbitae se 
colligebat. Mihi multa omnino sphaenca visa, 
et admodum exigua, quae ad Columbarum ova 
vix accederent: unum etiam quod adhuc in 
Musaeo reservo, Ansenno haud minus, plicis, 
rugisque msigne, quod lllustns Io. Baptista 
Barbazza Bononiensis mihi olim donavit. 

Sed videamus modo, an Gallus etiam ovum 
panat. Etsi enim Aristoteles 476 , alii que veteres, 
quod sciam, nullam hums rei mentionem 
faciant, ldque ex recentioribus Albertus falsum 
esse scnbat, tamen id alios viros doctissimos 
non credere tantum, sed ex experientia propria 
id scnbere video: {ajedere autem id inquiunt, 
cum lam decrepitus esse incipit, ac senectute 
confici, ldque nonnullis septimo, nono, aut ad 
summum decimo quarto aetatis anno evenire 
pro vinum vel robore, vel imbecillitate, aut 
etiam concumbendi consuetudme, qua nulli 
non animantium naturae vis deijcitur, atque 



Furthermore, Albertus* reports that he observed a quite 
round egg covered by two shells, one within the other, 
with a thin watery white substance between each and 
without any yolk, and with also another albumen within 
the inner shell. Still he himself is telling that they are 
found wind-eggs without the external shell but having 
only the membrane usually laying beneath the shell. 
Then he thinks this happens because such eggs are 
humid and watery and furnished with little warmth, 
especially if the hens are fed on humid food. Some 
people say that trilecitha — trilekitha - eggs are found, that 
is, with three yolks, and that often they show a cavity in 
the middle of the shell, as Elluchasem Elimithar* writes 
that he himself noticed. The Ornithologist reports that 
sometimes he saw an egg whose shell, at one of two 
ends, got narrower like the neck of a gourd. I have seen 
many eggs fully spherical in shape and quite small, 
which barely were close to doves' eggs: I saw also an 
egg I'm still keeping in my museum which is no smaller 
than a goose egg, marked with folds and wrinkles, 
which the excellent John Baptista Barbazza of Bologna 
once gave me. 



But now let us see whether also a rooster can lay an egg. 
For although Aristotle* and other ancients so far as I 
know make no mention of this matter, and Albertus, 
among later scholars, writes that this is false, 
nevertheless I see that other very learned men not only 
believe this, but that they write this according to their 
own experience: for they say that he lays it when he 
begins to be already decrepit and worn-out by old age, 
and in some rooster it happens in the seventh, ninth, or 
at most, the fourteenth year of age in proportion either 
to power or weakness of strength, or even because of 
mating habit, by which the physical strength of some 
living creatures is reduced and weakened: then they 



472 De animalibus VI,81: Ego tamen iam vidi ovum gallinae, quod habuit duas testas, unam intra aliam, et in medio duarum testarum 
habuit albuginem, et intra interiorem etiam non fuit nisi albugo, et fuit ovum parvum, totum rotundum ad modum sperae. Sed hoc 
erat unum de naturae peccatis et monstris. § Vedi il lessico alia voce Ovum in ovo — Uovo matreshka*. 

473 Trilekitha e parola non attestata. Comunque AEKvOOC, e il rosso dell'uovo in Ippocrate (Mul II 205) e in Aristotele, per esempio 
in Historia animalium VI,3 562a 29. 

474 Tacuini Sanitatis ... de sex rebus non naturalibus... conservandae sanitatis - Citato anche da Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), 
pag. 420: Audio et trilecitha, id est triplicis vitelli ova interdum reperiri: frequentius vero dilecitha, eaque in medio testae plerunque 
cavitatem habere. Magis nutriunt et subtiliora sunt ova quae duos vitellos habent, Elluchasem. - Ma e assai verosimile che 
Aldrovandi abbia letto di corsa il brano di Gessner. Infatti la citazione delle uova con tre tuorli e con due tuorli sembra appartenere 
a Gessner (audio), mentre a Elluchasem bisogna attribuire la sola affermazione che le uova che hanno due tuorli nutrono di piu e 
sono piu delicate (Magis nutriunt et subtiliora sunt ova quae duos vitellos habent), omessa da Aldrovandi, che ha omesso anche le 
uova dilecitha di Gessner. 

475 Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 420: Ego me aliquando ovum videre memini cuius testa ab altera parte 
extrema in angustum veluti collum instar cucurbitae se colligebat. 

476 Invece Aristotele ne parla nella Historia animalium VI,2: E accaduto di osservare formazioni simili all'uovo in un certo stadio del 
suo sviluppo (cioe tutto uniformemente giallo, come lo sara piu tardi il vitello), anche in un gallo sezionato sotto il diaframma, 
laddove le femmine hanno le uova; queste formazioni sono interamente gialle d'aspetto, e grandi come le uova. Vengono tenute in 
conto di mostruosita. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 



116 



enervatur: tunc scilicet ex putrefacto intus 
seminis excremento aut humorum colluvie 
conflari ovum existimant, {ajedique sub 
Caniculae exortu, quod tunc maxime ab 
ambientis calore expultnx languida in alite 
decrepita mvetur. 

Taceo modo mihi bis, terve a viris etiam non 
plebeis, sed fide dignissimis ovum allatum, 
quod e Gallo natum affirmabant. Sunt qui 
eiusmodi ova semper rotunda, ac orbiculata 
esse tradunt. Mihi tamen relatum est apud 
Ferrantem Imperatum Pharmacopaeum 
Neapolitanum in celebernmo ems Musaeo 
oblongum viden. Ea vero quae mihi visa sunt, 
erant rotunda, colore modo luteo, buxeo, 
flavescente, lundo. Item vix ante octiduum 
nescio quis ruptum ad me attulit, quod vitello 
omnino carere dixisses. Erat enim totum ferme 
album: merat tamen quod media parte aliquo 
pacto flavesceret: habebat etiam quod lam 
quasi ad generationem vergeret. 

Quod vero nonnulli dicant testa carere, sed 
adeo durae pellis esse, ut fortissimis ictibus 
resistat, id plane fabulosum esse existimo, uti 
etiam quod vulgus in tota Europa existimat, ex 
eo basiliscum generan, maxime si a rubeta, vel 
bufone excludatur 477 . Levinus Lemnius 478 
medicus praestantissimus propria sese 
experientia comprobatum habere tradit, 
Galium non {ajedere tantum ovum, sed 
mcubare etiam. Scnbit autem in civitate 
Zirizaea, atque msulae huius ambitu duos 
annosos Gallos non tantum ovis suis 
incubasse, verum etiam fustibus aegre ab lllo 
opere abigi potuisse, atque ita, quoniam cives 
earn persuasionem concepissent, ex eiusmodi 
ovo basiliscum emergere, ovum {conterisse} 
<contrivisse>, et Galium strangulasse. 

Verum quicquid hie, alnque dicant, ego ne 
lurantibus quidem crediderim, tantum abest, ut 
Galium id in fimo ponere, ut eius calore 
foecundetur, aut ab mcubantibus id rubetis 
basiliscum generan credam, ut nonnulli etiam 
nugati sunt. Haud interim neganm Galium 
quid ovo simile ex conglobata intus putri 



think that undoubtedly the egg is formed from a 
secretion of semen putrefied within or from a rinsing of 
fluids and that it is sent out at the beginning of dog 
days* - August, because in this moment the expulsion's 
power, which is weak in an aged bird, takes plenty of 
advantage from the surrounding heat. 

Only just I mention the fact that twice or thrice also 
men who are not of the common run of humans but 
most trustworthy brought me an egg which they 
claimed was born from a rooster*. Some people report 
that such eggs are always round and spherical. 
Nevertheless, I have been told that at home of Ferrante 
Imperato*, pharmacist at Naples, in his very famous 
museum, an oblong egg can be seen. But those which I 
have seen were round, barely yellow in color, pale as 
boxwood*, yellowish, pale yellow. Likewise, 
approximately eight days ago, someone I do not know 
brought me a broken egg which you would have said 
completely lacking yolk. For it was almost entirely 
white: however there was something in the middle part 
which was somehow yellowish: it also had something as 
already verging towards generation. 

As to the fact that some say such egg lacks shell but has 
a skin so hard that it resists the strongest blows, I think 
this is quite fanciful, as it is also what the common 
people of whole Europe believe, that is, that a basilisk is 
generated from it, especially if the egg has been laid by a 
poisonous toad or an ordinary toad. Levinus Lemnius*, 
a most prominent physician, informs that he has 
confirmation from his own experience that a rooster 
not only lays an egg but even incubates it. Further on he 
writes that in the city of Zierikzee - on Schouwen 
Duiveland island in Zeeland* - and in the territory of 
this island, two aged roosters not only incubated their 
eggs but also that by flogging them they were driven 
away with difficulty from that job, and so, since the 
citizens conceived the conviction that from an egg of 
this kind a basilisk would emerge, they crushed the egg 
and strangled the rooster. 

Truly, whatever this man and others may say, I should 
not believe this even if they swore, being so far from 
reality that a rooster lays an egg in the mud to be 
fecundated by heat therein, or that I believe that a 
basilisk is generated if it is incubated by poisonous 
toads, as some also said for fun. In the meantime I 
should not deny that a rooster conceives something 



477 Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 406: Dicunt quidam decrepitum gallum, ovum ex se generare, idque in fimo 
ponere absque testa, sed pelle tarn dura ut ictibus validissimis resistat: atque hoc ovum fimi calore foecundari ita ut basiliscus ex eo 
gignatur: qui serpens sit per omnia gallo similis, sed cauda longa serpentina, ego hoc verum esse non puto, quanquam ab Hermete 
proditum, scriptore apud multos fide digno, Albertus. Et rursus, Basiliscos aliquando dicunt gigni de ovo galli, quod plane falsum 
est et impossibile. nam quod Hermes docet basiliscum generare in utero (generari in fimo) non intelligit de vero basilisco, sed de 
elixir (elydrio) alchymico, quo metalla convertuntur. - Hermes dovrebbe essere Ermete Trismegisto*. 

478 p er £[ testo completo contenuto in De occultis naturae miraculis si veda il lessico alia voce Levinus Lemnius*. 



117 



concretione, maxime in ultimo eius senio, cum 
non amplius coit, concipere, ovum integrum 
una cum testa excludere minime credam. Hoc 
enim in matnce perfici ratio dictat. Ut autem a 
viro totum foetum excludi nemo dixerit, ita 
neque a Gallo, qui cum Philosophorum, turn 
medicorum dogmatibus edoctus loquitur. 



Unde relictis eiusmodi nugis, caetera, quae ad 
huiusce avium generis procreationem spectant, 
prosequamur. Supersunt modo, quae ad 
mcubatum, et exclusionem pertinent. In 
mcubatione tna maxime observanda sunt, 
Gallmarum, ovorumque qualitas, tempus 
supponendi, et Gallmani cura. Quod ad 
Gallmas attinet Columella 479 non omnibus 
mcubationem permittendam esse asserit, 
quoniam novellae magis {ajedendis, quam 
excubandis ovis idoneae sunt. Et alibi 
veteranas ad huiusmodi mcubationis munus 
obeundum eligendas praecipit, easque maxime, 
quae iam saepius id fecennt, conandumque ut 
mores earum maxime pernoscamus, quod aliae 
melius excubant, aliae {ajeditos pullos 
commodius educant. 

Sunt e contrario nonnullae, quae et sua, et 
aliena ova frangunt, ac saepe etiam exsorbent, 
quas velut omnino meptas quampnmum ab 
ovis submovere convenit. Varro 480 etiam illas 
improbat, quae rostra, et ungues acuta habent, 
et tales ad concipiendum potius, quam ad 
incubandum commendat. Florentinus 481 illas 
omnino aspernatur, quae spiculatis calcanbus 
non secus quam Gallmacei armantur. Item us 
ova subijci vetat, quae iam aetate florent, quod 
tales plerunque plura, quam aliae pariant, 
quales maxime bimae sunt. Est tamen et us 



similar to an egg thanks to a rolled-together concretion 
of decayed matter within himself, especially in his last 
old age when he no longer has coitus, but I should not 
believe at all that he lays a true egg with a shell. For 
reason dictates that it is perfected in the female. For on 
the other hand no one could ever affirm that a 
complete foetus takes birth from a man, thus he won't 
even have to affirm that it took birth from a rooster, 
even though he who is speaking is learned both in 
philosophy and medicine. 

Therefore, leaving aside such trifles, let me continue 
with the remaining things which pertain to the 
procreation of this genus of birds. Only those things 
concerning incubation and hatching are remaining. 
During the incubation three items must be especially 
observed, the quality of eggs and hens, the moment to 
place them under the hens and the diligence of the 
person in charge of chickens. As for the hens is 
concerned, Columella* asserts that not all hens should 
be allowed to incubate eggs since young ones are more 
suited for laying than for hatching out eggs. Elsewhere 
he advises that aged hens are to be chosen for take up 
the task of such incubation, and particularly those who 
have already done so more often, and that we should 
also make a special effort to learn their individual 
habits, because some incubate better, others are raising 
more appropriately the hatched chicks. 

There are, on the contrary, some hens who break both 
their own eggs and those of someone else, and often 
even swallow them, and it is advisable to remove the 
hens as soon as possible from eggs as quite unfit. 
Varro* condemns also those who have sharp beaks and 
nails, and commends such hens rather for conception 
than incubation. Florentinus* completely despises those 
who are armed with spiked spurs like the roosters are. 
Likewise he forbids us to place eggs under those hens 
which are flourishing in age, because such hens mostly 
lay more eggs than others, as are doing those who aren't 
more than two years old. Eggs must nevertheless be 



479 De re rustica VIII,5,5-6: Fere autem cum primum partum consummaverunt gallinae, incubare cupiunt ab Idibus Ianuariis. Quod 
facere non omnibus permittendum est, quoniam quidem novellae magis edendis quam excudendis ovis utiliores sunt, inhibeturque 
cupiditas incubandi pinnula per nares traiecta. [6] Veteranas igitur avis ad hanc rem eligi oportebit, quae iam saepius id fecerint, 
moresque earum maxime pernosci, quoniam aliae melius excudant, aliae editos pullos commodius educent. At e contrario quaedam 
et sua et aliena ova comminuunt atque consumunt, quod facientem protinus summovere conveniet. 

480 Kerum rustkarum 111,9,9: Optimum esse partum ab aequinoctio verno ad autumnale. Itaque quae ante aut post nata sunt et etiam 
prima eo tempore, non supponenda; et ea quae subicias, potius vetulis quam pullitris, et quae rostra aut ungues non habeant acutos, 
quae debent potius in concipiendo occupatae esse quam incubando. Adpositissimae ad partum sunt anniculae aut bimae. 

481 Questa e la sequenza delle citazioni tratte da Florentino e riportate per esteso da Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), 
pag. 426: Ova subiiciantur, non quidem iis quae florent aetate, aut parere possunt, gallinis, sed provectioribus, vigent enim atque 
florescunt anniculae ad emissiones (partiones) ovorum, potissimum autem bimae sed minus quae sunt seniores, Florentinus. 
Appositissimae ad partum sunt anniculae aut bimae, Varro. Gallinae incubationi destinandae, rostra aut ungues non habeant acutos. 
tales enim debent potius in concipiendo occupatae esse, quam incubando, Idem. Quae non secus quam gallinacei calcaribus 
spiculatis armantur, cavendum est ne eae incubent. pertundunt enim ova, Florentinus. Oportet qua die subditurus es ova, non unam 
tantum gallinam, sed tres superponere aut quatuor, Idem. 



118 



supponendum, cum ab mcubandi cupiditate, 
quae, teste Columella 482 fere, cum primum 
partum consummaverint, ab ldibus Ian. 483 
mcipere solet, prohiberi nequeunt. Nam multa 
pariens, et non incubans frequenter aegrotat, et 
moritur. Inhibetur vero [222] ilia cupiditas 
pmnula per nares traiecta, et fngidae 
aspersione. 



Circa ova, quae supponenda sunt, duo maxime 
considerare oportet, qualitatem nempe, et 
numerum. Ne smt itaque subventanea, seu 
hypenemia, sed Galium expertarum 
Gallinarum, atque haec recentia, plena, quae 
aquae dulci miecta submerguntur, in quibus 
soli obtentis semen Galli apparet, nihil autem 
vacui, et si fieri potest, vetularum potius quam 
pullastrarum. 

Sed in eiusmodi ovorum electione inter 
Plinium 484 , et Columellam 485 insignis est 
contradictio, cum llle intra decern dies edita 
laudet, vetustiora, aut recentiora infoecunda 
existimans: hie vero, etsi quae decern dierum 
sunt, infoecunda non putet, aptissima tamen 
ad excludendum recentissima quaeque mdicet. 
Sed malim ego hac in re Columellae assentiri, 
eoque magis cum hunc sequi Albertum 
videam, qui etiam lllud addit, ova quatriduana 
optima esse, minus vero proban infra aut 
supra hoc tempus nata: sed haec Alberti 
determinatio quodam modo Columellae 
adversatur, qui dum recentissima, ut dixi, 
laudat, eo ova lncubationi aptiora mnuere 
videtur, quo ortui suo proximiora existunt: 
qum im<m>o observari vult, dum eduntur, ac 
signo aliquo notari, ut, quanto pnus fieri 
possit, glocientibus supponantur, caeteraque 
vel reponantur, vel aere permutentur. Super 
qua re mquisitae a me nostrae mulierculae, 
Alberti potius, quam Columellae praeceptum 
sequendum praedicant, quia mquiunt recentia 
unius diei, vel etiam duorum supposita irrita, et 



placed under these hens when they cannot be 
discouraged from their desire to incubate, which usually 
begins, according to Columella, approximately from the 
Ides of January - January 13 th - as soon as they 
completed their laying. For the hen who lays many eggs 
and does not incubate, frequently grows ill and dies. But 
that desire is inhibited by a little feather passed through 
the nostrils and by sprinkling cold water. 

Page 222 

As to the eggs which are to be placed under the hen, 
two items especially must be observed, and precisely 
their quality and number. Let them not be wind-eggs or 
full of air, but eggs from hens who entered in touch 
with the rooster, and recent, full, which, when set in 
sweet water, are submerged, in which, when put against 
the sun light, the semen of the rooster is visible and 
nothing of empty space, and, if possible, eggs of aged 
hens rather than of pullets. 

But regarding the selection of such eggs there is a 
noteworthy contradiction between Pliny* and 
Columella*, since the former praises eggs laid since ten 
days, considering infertile the older or more recent 
ones: the latter, however, although he does not think 
infertile ten-day-old eggs, nevertheless judges as very 
suitable for hatching also the very recent ones. But I 
prefer to agree with Columella in this matter, all the 
more because it seems to me that Albertus* follows 
him, being that he also adds that four-day-old eggs are 
the best, while those laid before or after this period are 
less approved: however, this conclusion of Albertus in 
some manner is opposing to Columella, who, as I said, 
while is praising the very recent ones, he seems to hint 
that the eggs are the more fit for incubation the more 
are close to their birth: or rather, he wishes to pay 
attention to when they are laid, and that they are 
marked with some sign, so that may be placed as soon 
as possible under the clucking hens, and that the 
remaining are either put aside or bartered for money. 
Our farm girls I questioned about this subject declare 
that is to be followed the advice of Albertus rather than 
that of Columella, because they say that fresh eggs one- 
day-old or even two-day-old when placed under a hen 



482 Y)e re rustica VIII,5 ,5: Fere autem cum primum partum consummaverunt gallinae, incubare cupiunt ab ldibus Ianuariis. 

483 Ai tempi di Columella il calendario giuliano, voluto da Giulio Cesare nel 46 aC, era in uso ormai da circa un secolo, per cui le idi 
di gennaio cadevano al 13 anziche al 15 dello stesso mese. 

484 Naturalis historia X,151: Ova incubari intra decern dies edita utilissimum; Vetera aut recentiora infecunda. Subici inpari numero 
debent. Quarto die post quam coepere incubari, si contra lumen cacumine ovorum adprehenso ima manu purus et unius modi 
perluceat color, sterilia existimantur esse proque iis alia sub stituenda. Et in aqua est experimentum: inane fluitat, itaque sidentia, hoc 
est plena, subici volunt. Concuti vero experimento vetant, quoniam non gignant confusis vitalibus venis. 

485 Y) e re m stica VIII,5,4: Observare itaque dum edant ova et confestim circumire oportebit cubilia, ut quae nata sunt recolligantur, 
notenturque quae quoque die sunt edita, et quam recentissima supponantur gluttientibus (sic enim rustici appellant avis eas quae 
volunt incubare), cetera vel reponantur vel aere mutentur. Aptissima porro sunt ad excludendum recentissima quaeque. Possunt 
tamen etiam requieta subponi, dum ne vetustiora sint quam dierum decern. 



119 



putrida fiunt. 

Verum etsi quandoque ova omnibus lam dictis 
bonitatis signis praedita sint, fit tamen ut 
nonnunquam mimme foetum excludant, ldque 
vel mcubantis, vel quae ea {ajedidit Gallmae 
culpa. Eorum enim quae panunt nonnulla 
quandoque infoecunda sunt, quamvis ex coitu 
conceperint, quod inde colligimus, quia nullus 
ex us provenit foetus, licet diligentissime 
incubatu foveantur. Sunt vero potissimum 
sterilia, vel quia subventanea sunt, vel alias ob 
causas, quas ad quatuor hasce Albertus redigit. 
Primo propter corruptum albumen, ex quo 
partes pulli forman debeant. Secundo propter 
vitelli corruptionem, unde suppeditandum erat 
alimentum, nam sic pullus imperfecte 
formatur, et partes quaedam in ipso {absolutae 
non} <non absolutae> 486 mveniuntur, et non 
coniunctae, sicut in abortu animalis vivipan 
ante perfectionem lineamentorum foetus. 
Albumine vero corrupto, nihil omnino per 
totam incubationem formatur, sed ovum 
totum marcidum evadit, et foetidum, uti sanies 
corrumpitur in apostemate. Tertio contingit 
ovum vitian membranarum, et fibrarum, quae 
per albumen tendunt, culpa: Nam corrupta 
tunica, quae continet vitellum, humor vitellmus 
effluit, et confunditur cum albumine; itaque 
impeditur ovi foecunditas. Corruptis vero 
fibns, corrumpuntur, et venae, et nervi pulli, 
impeditur ems nutritio, compago destruens 
ligamentis dissolvitur, et laesis nervis sensus 
amittitur. Quarto propter vetustatem, 
exhalante spiritu, in quo est virtus formativa: 
unde vitellus pondere suo penetrat albumen, et 
ad testam fertur in earn partem, cui mcumbit 
ovum. Hisce lgitur quatuor modis ova 
infoecunda fieri contingit. 

In secundo quidem modo, ut hoc iterum 
repetamus, aliquando accidit, quod humonbus 
corruptis partes igneae combustae ferantur ad 
putamen, unde ovum in tenebns lucet, 
quemadmodum truncus arbons putrefactae, 
cuiusmodi ovum sibi visum in regione 
Coras cena Avicenna testatur. Sunt et alii forte 
corruptionis ovorum modi, sed qui sub lam 
dictis facile comprehendi possunt. Depravantur, 



become fruitless and rotten. 

Truly, even when the eggs are endowed with all the just 
aforesaid marks of excellence, they sometimes 
nevertheless do not at all produce a foetus, and this 
happens either because of the incubating hen or 
because of the hen who laid them. For sometimes some 
eggs they lay are infertile although the hens conceived 
them by coitus, a thing we gather from the fact that no 
foetus issues from such eggs although they are very 
diligently warmed by incubation. But they are especially 
sterile either because they are wind-eggs, or for other 
reasons which Albertus traces back to the following 
four. First, on account of the corrupt albumen, from 
which the parts of the chick were to be formed. Second, 
because of the corruption of the yolk, whence the 
sustenance of the chick was to be provided, for thus the 
chick is formed imperfectly, and in it are found certain 
unfinished parts and not joined together, as in the 
abortion of a viviparous animal before the perfection of 
the lineaments of the foetus. But, since the albumen is 
corrupted, nothing is formed at all throughout the 
entire incubation, and the whole egg becomes decayed 
and fetid, as the pus goes bad in an abscess. Third, it 
happens that the egg deteriorates because of the 
membranes and fibers which stretch through the 
albumen. For when the tunic which contains the yolk is 
corrupted, the liquid of the yolk flows out and mingles 
with the albumen; thus the fecundity of the egg is 
hindered. But when the fibers are corrupted, the veins 
and nerves of the chick are also corrupted, its nutrition 
is hindered, when the ligaments are destroyed the bond 
between the parts is dissolved and when the nerves are 
injured the sensitivity is lost. Fourth, because of getting 
old, since the air in which lies the formative property 
comes out: hence the yolk by its own weight penetrates 
the albumen and moves to the shell, in that part where 
the egg is bending. Therefore it happens that the eggs 
become infertile in these four ways. 

In the second way, to repeat it again, sometimes it 
happens that the igneous burned parts are carried 
towards the shell by corrupted fluids, whence the egg 
gives out light in the dark, like does the trunk of a 
rotten tree — by biolummescence*, and Avicenna* 
testifies that such an egg has been observed by he 
himself in the Khurasan* region. There are perhaps also 
other manners of corruption of the eggs, but which can 
be easily included among those I just said. Aristotle* 



486 II significato e completamente diverso: Aldrovandi doveva solo citare correttamente la sua inesauribile fonte, cioe Conrad 
Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 420: Secundo, propter corruptionem vitelli, unde alimentum suppeditandum erat. itaque 
formatur pullus imperfecte, et partes quaedam in ipso non absolutae inveniuntur et non coniunctae, sicut in abortu animalis vivipari 
ante perfectionem lineamentorum foetus. 



120 



inquit Aristo teles 487 , ova, et fiunt, quae urina 
appellantur, tempore potius calido, idque ratione. Ut 
enim lina temporibus calidis coalescunt faece subversa: 
hoc enim causa est, quod depraventur. sic ova pereunt 
litello cotrupto. Id 4ii enim in utriusque terrena portio 
est. Quamobrem et linum obturbatur faece permista, et 
ovum vitello diffuso. Multiparis igitur hoc accidit 
merito, cum non facile omnibus calor conveniens reddi 
possit, sed aliis deficiat, aliis superet, et quasi 
putrefaciendo obturbet. Haec llle: quae vero unna 
vocat, Plinius 489 aliis cynosura vocari scribit, 
forte quod aestate, ut diximus, et sub cane 
magis urina fiant: quia etiam canicularia 
dicuntur. Caelius oupia ova (modo oupia 
eadem smt, ut videtur, cum urinis) quasi 
fluctuosa dici putat: nam oupov, inquit, 
ventum 490 dicunt: quo argumento etiam ab 
Homero mul{t}os 491 dici o^pi^ac; coniectant 
periti, et recenset Eustathius 8ia To ayovov, id 
est, ob msitam non gignendi proprietatem, 
quod eorum semen sit ocvejiouov, id est 
spiritosum, et proinde foecunditatis 
nescium 492 : et rursus, ubi quaent, unde 
eiusmodi ova fluitent? Ratio, inquit, erui illinc 
potest quod aquescant, ac spiritus 
contabescentia concipiant plurimum: qua 
ratione colligitur et illud, cur in aqua pereuntes, 



says: Eggs are poiling and those called unfertilised grow up 
preferably in the warm season, and this happens because of a 
reason. For as wines grow sour in warm seasons from the 
shaking-up of lees: for this is the reason why they are spoiling: so 
eggs turn bad when the yolk is polled. For in both cases it 
rpresents - they represent - the earthy portion. For this reason 
they become turbid both wine because of mixed lees and egg 
because of scattered yolk. Therefore it is natural that this happens 
in birds who lay many eggs, since the proper amount of heat 
cannot easily be prodded to all the eggs, but for some it is 
insufficient, for others it is too much, and it makes them turbid as 
though putrefying them. Thus far Aristotle: the eggs he calls 
urina, Pliny writes that by others are called cynosura, 
perhaps because, as I said, in the summer and during 
the dog days* - August - they become more infertile: 
which is why they are also called of dog days. Lodovico 
Ricchieri* thinks they are called ouria eggs (as long as 
the ouria ones, as it seems, are corresponding to 
unfertilized ones) as they were shaken by waves: for he 
says that they call a wind ouron — the favourable wind: 
which is why the experts conjecture that the mules are 
called oureas also by Homer*, and Eustathius* expounds 
with did to dgonon, that is, because of an inborn 
characteristic of infertility, since their semen is anemaion, 
that is, windy and therefore unfit to fecundity: and in 
addition, when he wonders "why do eggs of this kind 
keep afloat?" The reason, he says, can be drawn from 



f-h/=» fart tnit fh*=»T7 



v\f±rc\Ywf± \\r\ 



inn llL/=» TT70l"/=»f Otlfl TT7nll/=> 



487 De generatione animalium 111,2 753a 17-30: Nelle uova gli animali giungono piu velocemente a compimento nella stagione 
soleggiata, perche il tempo concorre in quanta anche la cozione e prerogativa del calore. Sia la terra concorre alia cozione grazie al 
suo calore, sia l'animale che cova fa la stessa cosa: trasmette il calore che ha in se. Ma logicamente e durante la stagione calda che le 
uova si corrompono e si formano le cosiddette sterili [oupva]: come anche i vini nella stagione calda si inacidiscono per il 
rimescolamento della feccia (perche e questa la causa del corrompimento), cosi anche nelle uova awiene per il tuorlo. Essi 
rappresentano in entrambi i casi l'elemento terroso, percio il vino e intorbidito per il rimescolamento della feccia, le uova che si 
corrompono per quello del tuorlo. E logico che questo accada agli uccelli multipart, perche non e facile conferire a tutte le uova un 
riscaldamento conveniente, ma in alcune ce n'e difetto, in altre eccesso, e esse sono intorbidite come se andassero in putrefazione. 
(traduzione di Diego Lanza) — Alcuni traducono OUpiCC con sierose e l'aggettivo e frequente per designare le uova chiare. Confronta 
anche Hist. an. VI,3 562a 30: 4, 562b 11; De gen. an. 111,2 753a 22. (Roberto Ricciardi) 

488 La fonte e rappresentata da Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 422: Id enim in utrisque terrena portio est. 

489 Naturalis historia X,166: Inrita ova, quae hypenemia diximus, aut mutua feminae inter se libidinis imaginatione concipiunt aut 
pulvere, nee columbae tantum, sed et gallinae, perdices, pavones, anseres, chenalopeces. Sunt autem sterilia et minora ac minus 
iucundi saporis et magis umida. Quidam et vento putant ea generari, qua de causa etiam zephyria appellant. Urina autem vere 
tantum fiunt incubatione derelicta, quae alii cynosura dixere. 

490 Confronta per esempio Omero Odissea V 628; X 17; I Hade I 479; II 420, etc. 

491 L'errore tipografico — oppure di Aldrovandi — poteva essere evitato confrontando il testo con quello esatto di Conrad Gessner 
Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 422: Ova generationi inepta OUplCt quasi fluctuosa dici legimus. nam OUpOV dicunt ventum, quo 
argumento etiamnum ab Homero mulos dici OUpfjOKJ coniectant periti, et recenset Eustathius: Old TO d^OVOV, id est ob insitam 
non gignendi proprietatem, quod eorum semen sit (XVS]ICUOV id est spiritosum, ed proinde foecunditatis nescium, Caelius. Unde fit 
ut TOt dcpavtoBevTCC cbd ical ETtOUplCavTa, hoc est corrupta et urina ova, fluitent? Integra certe 1CCU 0CTta8f|, confestim sidere, 
manifestum est. Ac ratio quidem erui illinc potest, quod aquescant ac spiritus contabescentia concipiant plurimum. Qua ratione 
colligitur et illud, cur in aqua pereuntes, primo quidem ima petere: mox ubi computrescere coeperint, emergere ac fluitare soleant, 
etc. Idem. 

492 Confronta Eustazio ad II. I 50: OUpfjctC, J1SV TtpCOTOV STtCp^STO - in alternativa ad altre spiegazioni Eustazio (p. 42, 10 sg.) 
propone: Ttccpd tov oupov, o oYjAoi t6v dvepov touto 8s 8id to dyovov tcov toioutcov ^cocov kcu to tou OTteppcmicotj 
TtvsupctToc, ccKapitov ical coaxsp dvejnaiov. Av6 ical Ta sv toi cboic, aicapita 8id Tf|v TovauTrjv aiTiav oupia r| icovvfj 
Asysv auvf^Beva. 



121 



pnmo quidem ima petere: mox ubi 
computrescere coeperint, emergere, ac fluitare 
soleant. 



Etsi tamen spiritu ita intus concepto aquae 
innatantia putredmem suam testentur 
eiuscemodi ova, ac proinde infoecunditatem, 
non ergo subventanea seu hypenemia sunt, ut 
Calepmus perperam exponit, nam hypenemia 
sine Galli congressu Gallmae panunt, sed ita 
fiunt lam dictas ob causas, quibus demum 
addere potes, quando ab mcubante Gallma 
reliquuntur, atque hmc forte Florentinus, qua 
die subditurus es ova, non unam tantum 
Gallmam, sed tres, [223] quatuorve superponi 
praecipit. 



Sed quaerat modo hie quispiam qua ratione 
cognoscatur, si quid ex illis nasciturum sit. 
Certa quidem lllius indicia statuere 
difficillimum esse puto. Tradit tamen Albertus 
ova incubationi idonea quarto die sanguineas 
habere venas: eo itaque tempore ad soils radios 
examinari possunt, et in quibus venae 
apparent, rursus supponi, alia minime. Videat 
autem, quisquis introspexerit, si eadem die in 
acutiore parte clara appareant, hoc est, ut 
Plinius 493 loquitur, cum purus, et uniusmodi 
pelluceat color; nam talia ad generationem inepta 
sunt; item in quibus Galli semen tunc non 
apparet, teste Varrone 494 . Albertus septimo 
rursus die inspici iubet, et si quid est, quod Soli 
obtentum non videatur alteratum, abijci, ceu 



the fact that they become liquid like water and while 
decaying they take up a lot of air: for this reason it can 
also be gathered why when steeped in water, first they 
go to the bottom: as soon as they begun to rot, usually 
they come up and float. 

However, although eggs of this kind, having so taken air 
into themselves, are indicating their rottenness by 
floating on water, and then their infertility, because of 
this they are not subventanea or hypenemia, as Ambrogio 
Calepmo* erroneously reports, for hens lay hypenemia 
eggs when didn't have coition with a rooster, but these 
eggs become such for the just given reasons, to which 
one can lastly add because they are abandoned by 
incubating hen, and perhaps because of this reason 
Florentinus* advises that on the day when one is 
putting eggs under a hen, not one only but three or four 
hens should be placed upon them. 

Page 223 

But now at this point someone could ask how it is 
possible to know whether something will be hatched 
out from the eggs. To say the truth, I think it is very 
difficult to establish sure indications of this. Albertus*, 
however, reports that eggs suited for incubation have 
bloody veins on the fourth day: thus at that time they 
can be examined at the rays of the sun, and those in 
which veins are visible should be placed back under the 
hen, the others not at all. But whoever examines the 
eggs should pay attention whether on the same day they 
appear clear in the sharper end, that is, as Pliny* says, if 
a color devoid of impurities and uniform shows through; for such 
eggs are unfit for generation; likewise those in which in 
that moment the rooster's semen does not appear, 
according to Varro* . Albertus recommends they should 
be inspected again on the seventh day and if there is 



493 Naturalis historia X,151: Ova incubari intra decern dies edita utilissimum; Vetera aut recentiora infecunda. Subici inpari numero 
debent. Quarto die post quam coepere incubari, si contra lumen cacumine ovorum adprehenso ima manu purus et unius modi 
perluceat color, sterilia existimantur esse proque iis alia sub stituenda. Et in aqua est experimentum: inane fluitat, itaque sidentia, hoc 
est plena, subici volunt. Concuti vero experimento vetant, quoniam non gignant confusis vitalibus venis. - Errore interpretativo di 
Aldrovandi dovuto ad Alberto, come si puo desumere dal successivo brano di Gessner. Infatti Plinio non dice di esaminare il polo 
acuto, bensi di afferrare l'uovo per questa estremita e quindi di esaminarlo. - Corrette sono invece le interpretazioni di Conrad 
Gessner in quanto riporta il nome di ogni autore in Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 427: Ova quae incubantur, si habeant in se 
semen pulli, curator quatriduo postquam incubari coeperint, intelligere potest: si contra lumen tenuit, et purum uniusmodi esse 
animadverterit, putant eijeiendum, et aliud subijeiendum, Varro. Quarto die postquam coeperi incubari, si contra lumen cacumine 
ovorum apprehenso una manu, purus et uniusmodi perluceat color, sterilia existimantur esse, proque eis alia sub stituenda, Plin. Ova 
incubationi idonea, quarto die sanguineas habent venas: quo tempore si quae ad radios Solis clara apparuerint in acutiore parte, 
reijeiantur, Albert. La conferma del corretto giudizio di Gessner proviene da pag. 426 dove dice: In iis idem aiunt, cum ad lumen 
sustuleris, quod perlucet, id esse obinane [ob inane], Varro, Florentinus et Plinius. 

494 Kerum rusticarum 111,9,12: Ova, quae incubantur, habeantne semen pulli, curator quadriduo post quam incubari coepit intellegere 
potest. Si contra lumen tenuit et purum unius modi esse animadvertit, putant eiciendum et aliud subiciundum. - Errore di 
Aldrovandi, clie scambia pulli con galli: Varrone non dice di guardare se si vede il seme del gallo, bensi se si vede il germe 
dell'embrione. Ma l'errore e dovuto ad Alberto, come possiamo desumere dalla citazione di Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III 
(1555), pag. 426: Ova ad incubationem eliguntur, in quibus Soli obtentis semen galli apparet. turn a septem dierum incubitu iterum 
inspiciuntur: et si quod est quod Soli obtentum non appareat alteratum, eijeitur tanquam subventaneum et inutile, Albertus. Sed alii 
(ut infra recitabimus, ubi de cura incubantium sermo erit) versus Solem an semen galli appareat contemplari solent, non in iis ovis 
quae ad incubationem initio deliguntur, sed quae per aliquot dies incubitum iam pertulerunt. 



122 



subventaneum, et inutile. Sed in eiusmodi 
exploratione ovorum observandum maxime 
est, ut caveat inspector summopere, ne 
concutiantur. Concuti enim, ut Plmii verbis utar, 
experiment vetant, quoniam non gignant confusis 
litalibus vents. 

Sciendum etiam tot denuo substitui posse, 
quot pro mfoecundis reiecta fuennt. 
Reijciantur denique omnino hypenemia, nam 
quanvis partes videantur habere omnes, tamen 
pnncipio carent, quod a maris semme affertur: 
quapropter animata non sunt, ut dilucide 
Aristoteles docet: qui etiam tria potissimum 
alias indicia adducit, quibus huiusmodi ova ex 
aliis distinguas. Ait 495 enim alns minora esse, et 
plura numero gigni, ob unam eandemque 
causam. Ratio est, quia cum imperfecta smt, 
minus augentur, et quia minus augentur, plura 
numero existunt. Denique minus esse suavia, 
quia minus concocta. Nam concoctum in 
quovis genere suavius est. Ne itaque qui ova 
suppositurus, a venditonbus decipiatur, qui 
saepe subventanea pro foecundis ignarae 
plebeculae venditant, fugiat parva, et quorum 
magnam haberi copiam videt, eligat maiora, 
eorumque aliquo pnmo vescatur, ut ex dulci 
sapore caetera semmis participia divinet. 



Collectis modo ovis foecundis, eorum numen 
etiam ratio habenda est, si vetenbus credimus. 
Quotquot enim de agncultura scripserunt, fere 
omnes imparl numero subijci mbent, idque 
hodie nescio quam vere mulierculae nostrae 
observant. Nam revera res non videtur 
superstitione carere, nisi Pythagorae forte 
dogmata sapere dicamus, qui summum bonum 
in numero impari ponebat 496 . Variant vero 
eiusmodi numerum cum pro uniuscuiusque 
Gallmae natura, turn etiam pro diversitate 
tempons anni. Si Gallma foecunda est, 
Florentinus non plura, quam viginti tria 
supponi mbet, pauciora vero, cum talis non 



something which when held up to the sun does not 
seem different, the egg should be thrown away as windy 
and useless. But in such an examination one must pay a 
lot of attention to a thing, that the inspector should be 
very careful not to shake them. To use Pliny's words, 
For they forbid them to be shaken for trial, since they do not give 
birth to the chick if the lital veins have been ripped apart. 

One must also know that as many eggs will be thrown 
away as infertile, as many can be substituted in turn. In 
conclusion, the hypenemia ones should be absolutely 
eliminated, for, although they seem to have all their 
parts, they nevertheless lack the generative principle 
which is provided by the semen of the male: therefore 
they are lifeless, as Aristotle* clearly teaches: who 
elsewhere reports at first also three clues by which you 
may distinguish eggs of this kind from others. For he 
says they are smaller and they are produced more 
numerous than other eggs for only one and identical 
reason. Because, being imperfect, they grow less and 
since they grow less they are more numerous. Finally 
they are less palatable because they are less concocted. 
For in every kind of things what is concocted is more 
palatable. Therefore in order that who is going to put 
eggs under hens should not be deceived by wheeler- 
dealers, who often sell wind-eggs for fertile to 
inexperienced common people, he should shun small 
eggs and of which he sees there is a large abundance, he 
must choose the larger ones, and at first he should eat 
one of them, so that from its sweet taste he can foresee 
that the others are sharing of the semen. 

When only fertile eggs have been collected an account 
must also be kept of their number, if we believe the 
ancients. For almost all who wrote on agriculture urge 
that they must be placed under the hen in odd number, 
but at the present day I do not know how carefully our 
farm girls observe this rule. For in actual fact it does not 
seem to lack superstition, unless we affirm that perhaps 
it has the taste of the dogmas of Pythagoras*, who 
placed the greatest good in an odd number. For they 
change such a number not only with regard to the 
nature of each hen, but also according to the difference 
of the period of the year. If the hen is fecund, 
Florentinus* prescribes that not more than twenty-three 
eggs should be placed under her, but fewer eggs when 



495 De generatione animalium 111,1, 750b 21-26: Le uova sterili si producono piu abbondantemente di quelle feconde e sono piu piccole 
di dimensione per una sola e identica causa: poiche sono incompiute sono di dimensione piu piccola, e poiche sono di dimensione 
piu piccola sono in maggior numero. Sono anche meno dolci perche sono meno cotte, e in tutte le cose cio die e cotto e piu dolce. 
[Tutte queste determinazioni sulle uova sterili appaiono essere dedotte teoricamente, sia quelle relative alle dimensioni, sia quelle 
relative al grado di dolcezza. Lo stesso e tuttavia affermato da Ippocrate (Aer. aq. lot:, 8) a proposito dei cibi cotti.] (traduzione e 
nota di Diego Lanza) 

496 E probabile che si tratti di dottrina neoplatonica. In realta, nel campo musicale, Pitagora scopri le consonanze musicali, ossia le 
proporzioni 2:1, 3:2 e 4:3, che rappresentano la lunghezza di corde corrispondenti all'ottava e l'armonia fondamentale (il cinque e il 
quattro). (Roberto Ricciardi) 



123 



est. Varro 497 , et Plmius 498 negant, plus vigmti 
quinque oportere mcubare, quanvis etiam 
propter foecunditatem plura pepererit. 
Columella 499 pnmo tempore, id quod est 
mense Ianuano, non plura quam qumdecim 
subijci vult. Marti o novemdecim, nee pauciora, 
unum et viginti Apnli, et tota aestate usque 
calendas Octobris. Sed nostrae mulieres 
semper fere non ultra septemdecim, vel 
novemdecim glocientibus mcubanda exhibent. 

Eligendum etiam tempus est incubationi 
maxime idoneum: siquidem totum anni 
tempus tale non est. Praefertur autem velut 
praestantissimum aequmoctium vernum, hoc 
est, a vigesima quarta die Martii usque ad 
nonas Maias 500 : nam quae post lllud tempus 
mcubantur, pullos edunt, qui plerunque, quia 
tardius nati, nullam aliam eo anno utilitatem 
hero, quam ad mensae usum, apportant. 
Qumim<m>o Columella 501 author est, ab 
aestivo solstitio bonam pullationem non 
haben, quod ab eo tempore, etsi facilem 
educationem habeant, iustum tamen non 
capiant incrementum, probandam itaque 
aestivam educationem. Et Longolius pullos 
maturos dici posse putat pnmo vere exclusos: 
serotinos vero qui senus {ajeduntur, quos 
patna lingua autumnales vocan assent, eos ait 
sub vens initio necdum parere, 
quemadmodum quos maturos vocat; 
quamobrem, mquit{;} <,> non ad pullationem, 
sed ad veru aluntur. Alibi 502 etiam Columella 
post Octobrem supervacuam mcubationis 
curam esse scribit, quoniam frigoribus exclusi 



she is not alike. Varro and Pliny say that it is not 
worthwhile that more than twenty-five eggs are 
incubated, even though because of her fertility the hen 
laid a greater number. Columella, in the first breeding 
season, that is, in the month of January; wishes no more 
than fifteen to be placed under her. Nineteen in March, 
and no fewer, twenty-one in April and for the entire 
summer up to the kalends of October. But our women 
almost always give the broody-hens no more than 
seventeen or nineteen eggs for incubation. 

The more suitable time for incubation must also be 
chosen: since the whole space of the year is not alike. 
As very excellent the vernal equinox is preferred, that is, 
from the twenty-fourth day of March to the nones of 
May - May 7th: for those incubated after that time bnng 
forth chicks which, because they are born later, mostly 
provide the master in that year no other advantage than 
table use. But actually Columella says that from summer 
solstice there is no good production of chicks, because 
from that time, although they are easy raised, they do 
not, however, get a proper growth, and thus the 
summer raising must be regarded as right. Also 
Longolius* thinks that they can be called mature chicks 
if hatched in the early spring: but those belated which 
are born later, which he asserts are called autumnal in 
his native tongue, he says that they not yet lay at the 
beginning of spring, as on the contrary are doing those 
he calls mature; therefore, he says, they are not raised 
for reproductive purposes, but for spit. Elsewhere 
Columella also wntes that it is useless to devote 
ourselves to eggs incubation after October, since chicks 
hatched out in the cold weather generally perish. Pliny, 
however, extends the period to the kalends of 
November, and urges that even thirteen eggs at once 



497 Kerum rustkarum 111,9,8: Quae velis incubet, negant plus XXV oportere ova incubare, quamvis propter fecunditatem pepererit 
plura. 

498 Naturalis historialL,\SO: Plus vicena quina incubanda subici vetant. 

499 De re rustica VIII,5,8: Numerus ovorum quae subiciuntur inpar observatur nee semper idem. Nam primo tempore, id est mense 
Ianuario, quindecim nee umquam plura subici debent, Ma<rt>io novem nee his pauciora, undecim Aprili, tota deinde aestate usque 
in Kalendas Octobris tredecim. — I numeri suggeriti da Aldrovandi, anche se un po' abbondanti, sono alquanto logici nella loro 
sequenza, che si basa sulla temperatura ambiente, ma non corrispondono, eccetto che per gennaio, con quelli consigliati da 
Columella. (Roberto Ricciardi) — Scommetto che gli amanuensi hanno alterato i numeri affinche non potessimo giocare al lotto 
quelli piu sensati - e consoni alia temperatura ambiente - che senz'altro prescriveva Columella, il quale non era per nulla uno 
sproweduto, come saremmo invece indotti a credere. II motivo di tanto buon senso da parte di Aldrovandi puo essere farina del 
suo sacco, ma verosimilmente ha attinto farina da quello di Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 426: Numerus 
ovorum quae subiiciuntur, impar observatur, nee semper idem: nam primo tempore, id est mense Ianuario quindecim, nee unquam 
plura subiici debent, Martio XIX. nee his pauciora. unum et viginti Aprili. tota deinde aestate usque in calendas Octobris totidem. 
Postea supervacua est huius rei cura, quod frigoribus exclusi pulli plerunque intereant, Columel. — Non sappiamo se la 
rielaborazione dei numeri di Columella e stata dettata a Gessner dal buon senso e dall'esperienza oppure se e dovuta a una fonte 
misconosciuta altrettanto sensata. (Elio Corti) 

500 Secondo il calendario giuliano le none di maggio cadevano il 7 del mese, come quelle di marzo, luglio e ottobre. 

501 De re rustica VIII,5,9: Plerique tamen etiam ab aestivo solstitio non putant bonam pullationem, quod ab eo tempore, etiam si 
facile educationem habent, iustum tamen non capiunt incrementum. Verum suburbanis locis, ubi a matre pulli non exiguis pretiis 
veneunt, probanda est aestiva educatio. 

502 Y)e re rustica VIII,5 ,8: Postea supervacua est huius rei cura, quod frigoribus exclusi pulli plerumque intereunt. 



124 



pulli plerunque intereant Plinius 503 tamen ad 
Calendas Novembris usque tempus extendit, et 
terna dena etiam supponi mbet, sed ab eo die 
vetat donee bruma conficiatur: admittit 
denique hyemalem mcubationem, sed pauciora 
tunc incuban cupit, non tamen infra novena. 
Incubent itaque Gallinae quoties glociunt, et 
Gallmarii sit exclusos fngore pullos loco 
calidiori enutrire. 

Porro et Lunae ratio habenda est in 
suppositione. Nam in defectu illius prohibetur; 
et dum nova est, ut Plinius monet, vel saltern 
dum crescit, hoc est, a novilunio usque ad 
decimam quartam diem, laudatur. Ova enim 
ante novilunium subiecta, Varro 504 , etPlmius 505 
non succedere mquiunt, hoc est non producere 
pullos, Florentinus tabescere, et corrumpi, eo 
quod a plemlumo usque ad novilunium 
evanescant, ut in conchilns etiam observamus, 
et e contrano omnia a novilunio usque ad 
plemlunium repleantur, et humectentur. 
Columella 506 semper quidem considerari vult, 
ut luna crescente supponantur, verum nisi a 
decima, postquam creverit, die usque ad 
qumtadecimam: ldque Palladius 507 comprobat, 
et Tragus a mulierculis in Germania etiamnum 
observari scribit. Ex huiusmodi autem 
suppositione earn utilitatem dimanare inquit, 
quod pulli in [224] crescente iterum luna 
excludantur: et revera hie mcubandi modus 
satis laudan nequit, dignus ut ab omnibus 
mstituatur. 



Hisce itaque omnibus sedulo observatis, 
Gallmas includere oportet, ut tarn mterdiu 
quam noctu, ac in summa semper incubent, 
nisi dum cibus potusque exhibendus est. Id 
autem fiat mane, et vesperi. Cum volumus, inquit 
Florentinus 508 , ut oiis Gallinae incubent, stramen 



are placed under the hen, but from that day onward he 
forbids until the winter ended up: lastly he allows winter 
incubation, but he want that in this time fewer eggs are 
incubated, nevertheless not less than nine at once. 
Therefore the hens should incubate whenever they 
cluck, and it should be care of the chicken raiser to rear 
in a warmer place the chicks hatched out in the cold. 



Furthermore, for incubation, account must be taken 
also of the moon. For it is forbidden during its absence, 
and when it is new, as Pliny advises, or at least when it 
is growing, that is, from the new moon up to the 
fourteenth day, incubation is praised. In fact the eggs 
placed under the hen before the new moon Varro and 
Pliny say that they are unsuccessful, that is, they do not 
produce chicks, Florentinus says they melt and go bad, 
because from the full moon to the new moon they 
evaporate, as we also observe in shellfish, and on the 
contrary all of them grow full and moist from the new 
moon to the full moon. For Columella wishes care 
always to be taken that eggs should be set under the hen 
while the moon is growing, and to say the truth only 
from the tenth day after the moon began to grow up 
until the fifteenth: also Palladius* confirms this and 
Tragus - Hieronymus Bock* - writes that this practice is 
even now observed by farm girls in Germany. For he 
says that from such a method of placing eggs comes an 
advantage, because the chicks are hatched when the 
moon is growing again: and in fact this method of 
incubation cannot be sufficiently praised, and is worthy 
of being introduced by everybody. 

Page 224 

Then, when all these recommendations have been 
carefully observed, the hens must be shut up so that 
they incubate both day and night, in short, always, 
except when food and drink must be given them. This 
should be done in the morning and evening. 
Florentinus* says: When we wish the hens to incubate eggs, we 



503 Naturalis historia XVIII,231: A kal. Novemb. gallinis ova supponere nolito, donee bruma conficiatur. In eum diem ternadena 
subicito aestate tota, hieme pauciora, non tamen infra novena. 

504 Kerum rusticarum 111,9,16: Incubare oportet incipere secundum novam lunam, quod fere quae ante, pleraque non succedunt. 

505 "Naturalis historia X,152: Incubationi datur initium post novam lunam, quia prius inchoata non proveniant. 

506 D e re rus fi ca VIII,5,9: Semper autem cum supponuntur ova, considerari debebit ut luna crescente ab decima usque ad quintam 
decimam id fiat. 

507 Opus Agriculturae libro I, XXVII (De gallinis): Supponenda sunt his semper ova numero impari, luna crescente, a decima usque in 
quintamdecimam. 

508 Confronta anche Plinio Naturalis historia X,152: Incubationi datur initium post novam lunam, quia prius inchoata non 
proveniant. Celerius excluduntur calidis diebus; ideo aestate undevicensimo educent fetum, hieme XXV. Si incubitu tonuit, ova 
pereunt; et accipitris audita voce vitiantur. Remedium contra tonitrus clavus ferreus sub stramine ovorum positus aut terra ex 
aratro. — Columella De re rustica VIII,5,12: Plurimi etiam infra cubilium stramenta graminis aliquid et ramulos lauri nee minus alii 
capita cum clavis ferreis subiciunt. Quae cuncta remedio creduntur esse adversus tonitrua, quibus vitiantur ova pullique semiformes 
interimuntur, antequam toti partibus suis consummentur. 



125 



nitidum est substernendum, et in eo imponendus ferreus 
claim: quod is lideatur rim habere quodiis litium 
prapulsandi. Erant autem veteres in 
supponendis ovis admodum diligentes, ne 
dicam superstitiosi, ut ex hoc Columellae 509 
cuivis, ni fallor, constet. Supponendi consuetudo, 
inquit, tradita est ab iis, qui religiosius haec 
administrant, huiusmodi. Trimum quam secretissima 
cubilia eligunt, ne incubantes matrices ab aliis aiibus 
inquietentur. deinde antequam consternant ea, 
diligenter emundant, paleasque quas substraturi sunt, 
sulphure, et bitumine, atque ardente teda perlustrant, et 
expiatas cubilibus inijciunt, itafactis concavatis nidis, 
ne ab advolantibus, aut etiam desilientibus evoluta 
decidant ova. 

Caveat Gallmarius, ne ova multum manibus 
moveat. Nam venae, et humores, dum 
vertuntur facillime vitiantur, quod vel inde 
constat, quia cum Gallma in occulto mcubat, 
ova omnia foecunda fiant: manibus vero 
hominum tractata plunmum corrumpantur. 
Conradus Heresbachius 510 sibi compertum esse 
tradit, quassata claudos produxisse pullos. 
Quare curator, dum ea vertit, cum summa 
dextentate id facere debet. Debet autem ea 
necessario vertere ex Varronis 511 , et 
{Columellae 512 } <Florentini> praecepto, ut 
aequaliter concalefiant. 

Substramen 513 saepius tollat, et recens aliud 
subijciat, alioqui ex acere veteri pulices 
onuntur, et caetera huiusmodi animalcula, quae 
Gallmam conquiescere non patiuntur: ob 
quam rem ova aut inaequaliter matures cunt, 
aut consenescunt. Columella 514 monet, ut cibus 



must put clean straw under them, and an iron nail placed in it: 
because it seems to have the power of driiing away whatever harm. 
For the ancients were quite diligent in setting eggs, not 
to say superstitious, as to whoever appears, if I am not 
wrong, from this passage of Columella*. The method of 
placing eggs, he says, has been handed down as follows by those 
who take care of these matters more scrupulously. They first choose 
nesting places the most secluded as possible so that the incubating 
broody hens may not be disturbed by other birds: then, before they 
scatter anything in them, carefully clean them and purify the chaff 
which are about to place under the hens with sulphur*, bitumen*, 
and a flaming torch, and when have cleaned the chaff they throw it 
into the nests, nests which are made hollow so that the eggs by 
rolling will not fall out when the hens fly in or jump down. 

The chicken raiser should be careful not to shake much 
the eggs with his hands. For the veins and fluids are 
very easily deteriorated when the eggs are turned, which 
is also proven by the fact that when a hen incubates in a 
hidden place all the eggs are fertile: but when handled 
by men they grow rotten a lot. Conrad Heresbach* 
records that he checked that eggs which had been 
shaken produced lame chicks. The chicken raiser thus 
ought to use the greatest dexterity when he turns them. 
Afterwards he must necessarily turn them according to 
the advice of Varro* and Florentinus, in order that they 
may be warmed equally. 

He must remove the straw rather frequently and place 
beneath the hens a new one, otherwise lice grow in the 
old chaff and other little animals of this kind, which do 
not allow the hen to rest: because of this fact the eggs 
either mature not evenly or grow old. Columella advises 
that the food is placed nearby, in order that they will 



509 D e re rustica VIII,5,11: Subponendi autem consuetudo tradita est ab his qui religiosius haec administrant eiusmodi: primum quam 
secretissima cubilia legunt, ne incubantes matrices ab aliis avibus inquietentur; deinde antequam consternant ea, diligenter 
emundant, paleasque, quas substraturi sunt, sulpure et bitumine atque ardente teda perlustrant et expiatas cubilibus iniciunt, ita 
factis concavatis nidis, ne advolantibus aut etiam desilientibus decidant ova. 

510 De Re Rustica - libro IV. 

511 Rerum rusticarum 111,9,11: Curator oportet circumeat diebus interpositis aliquot ac vertere ova, ut aequabiliter concalefiant. 

512 Queste parole non sono presenti nel De re rustica di Columella. II perche possiamo dedurlo da Gessner: il consiglio, espresso in 
modo cosi sintetico, proviene infatti da Varrone e da Florentino. Ecco il testo di Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 
427: Curator oportet circumeat diebus interpositis aliquot, ac vertat ova, ut aequabiliter concalefiant, Varro et Florentinus. — 
Columella da lo stesso suggerimento, ma in modo meno conciso, nonche piu tecnico, in quanto contemporaneamente possono 
essere rimosse le uova traumatizzate: VIII,5,14: Quae quamvis pedibus ipsae convertant, aviarius tamen, cum desilierint matres, 
circumire debet ac manu versare, ut aequaliter calore concepto facile animentur, quin etiam, si qua unguibus laesa vel fracta sunt, ut 
remove at, [...]. 

513 Varrone Rerum rusticarum 111,9,8: In cubilibus, cum parturient, acus substernendum; cum pepererunt, tollere substramen et recens 
aliud subicere, quod pulices et cetera nasci solent, quae gallinam conquiescere non patiuntur; ob quam rem ova aut inaequabiliter 
maturescunt aut consenescunt. 

514 De re rustica VIII,5,14-15: Incubantibus autem gallinis iuxta ponendus est cibus, ut saturae studiosius nidis inmorentur, neve 
longius evagatae refrigerent ova. Quae quamvis pedibus ipsae convertant, aviarius tamen, cum desilierint matres, circumire debet ac 
manu versare, ut aequaliter calore concepto facile animentur, quin etiam, si qua unguibus laesa vel fracta sunt, ut removeat, idque 
cum fecerit duodeviginti diebus, undevicesimo animadvertat an pulli rostellis ova pertuderint, et auscultetur si pipant. Nam saepe 
propter crassitudinem putamina rumpere non queunt. [15] Itaque haerentis pullos manu eximere oportebit et matri fovendos 



126 



iuxta ponatur, ut saturae studiosius nidis 
immorentur, neve longius evagantes ova 
refrigerent: quare commode seorsim ab aliis 
recludentur. Curabit etiam omnino, si aliquae 
nolint ascendere ultro, ut ad mcubandi munus 
redeant, coactae etiam, si necessitas urgebit, 
item si quae unguibus earum laesa, vel {pacta} 
<fracta 515 > sunt, ova removeat. 



Die undevigesimo ammadvertat, an pulli 
rostellis ova pertudennt, et auscultet, an 
pipiant. Nam saepe propter crassitiem 
putammum erumpere nequeunt. Itaque 
haerentes pullos manu eximito, et matri 
fovendos subijcito, idque non amplius tnduo. 
Nam quae post ilium diem silent ova 
animalibus carent, quare et removenda sunt, ne 
Gallma diutius incubans mam spe pullorum 
detenta, effoeta reddatur. Mirabile magnum, 
quia non plane comprehenditur, mquit Petrus 
Gregorius, virtus, et omnipotentia Dei, quia 
pullus intra ovi corticem conclusus, antequam 
putamen effnngat, pipiat ales factus intra 
conclusus post undevigesimum diem ab 
mcubitu Gallmae in ova. 

Porro supponere etiam Gallinis diversi generis 
volucrum ova non tarn nostro aevo, quam 
apud veteres usitatum fuit. Nam praeterquam 
quod Plinius 516 id, alnque Geoponici tradunt, 
etiam apud Ciceronem 517 legimus: Anatum, 
inquit, ova Gallinis saepe supponimus. Quomodo 
vero ea, nee non Anserina subijciantur, suo 
aliquando loco, Deo volente, docebimus, uti 
etiam abunde de Phasiano diximus 518 . 

Quod si vero quis, vel mares, sive Gallos, sine 
faemellis, et e contra faemellas sine manbus 
nasci velit, id ita praestabit. Ova eliget oblonga, 
et fastigio acuminata, si mares volet: sin 
faemmas, quae rotundiora, et parte sui acutiore 
obtusa, orbiculum habent. Ita enim legendum 



remain more zealously upon their nests since their 
hunger is satisfied and do not cool the eggs when they 
stroll about rather far away: therefore they should be 
shut up apart from the others. He will also take a lot of 
care, if some hens do not wish to climb on their nests 
spontaneously, that they return to their incubation task, 
even under coercion if necessity is pressing, and at the 
same time, if some eggs have been damaged by their 
claws, or broken, he must remove them. 

On the nineteenth day of incubation he should note 
whether the chicks have struck the eggs with their little 
beaks, and he should listen for their peeping. For often 
because of the thickness of the shells they cannot break 
out. Then let him draw out with his hand the chicks 
which are stuck and put them under the mother hen to 
be warmed, and he must do so for no more than three 
days in succession. For the eggs which are silent after 
that lapse of time lack creatures and should be removed 
lest the hen, incubating too long because of a vain hope 
of chicks, should become exhausted. Pierre Gregoire* 
says: The power and omnipotence of the Lord are a great marvel 
because not clearly understood, being that the chick, while shut up 
in the egg shell, and before he breaks it, peeps like a shaped and 
finished bird inside of the egg after the nineteenth day since the hen 
lay down on eggs. 

Further, to place under the hens eggs of a different 
genus of birds has been usual not so much in our time, 
as among the ancients. For besides Pliny* and other 
geoponic writers* record this practice, we also read in 
Cicero*: Often, he says, we put ducks' eggs under hens. How 
these as well as goose eggs are placed under hens I shall 
explain, God willing, sooner or later in its place, as also 
I said at length speaking of the pheasant*. 

- Sex of the chick and shape of the egg* - But if 
someone wishes to have born males, or roosters, 
without females, and on the contrary, females without 
males, let him proceed as follows. He should choose 
elongated eggs and with sharp ends if he wishes males: 
if he wishes females, let him choose eggs which, being 



subicere, idque non amplius triduo facere. Nam post unum et vicesimum diem silentia ova carent animalibus, eaque removenda 
sunt, ne incubans inani spe diutius retineatur effeta. 

515 II testo di Columella riporta^/rarfa, e non pacta. Dovrebbe quindi trattarsi di un errore di Aldrovandi oppure della tipografia. 
Infatti cosi dice Columella De re rustica VIII,5, 14: Quae quamvis pedibus ipsae convertant, aviarius tamen, cum desilierint matres, 
circumire debet ac manu versare, ut aequaliter calore concepto facile animentur, quin etiam, si qua unguibus laesa vel fracta sunt, ut 
removeat, [...]. - Che si tratti di un errore tipografico, oppure di Aldrovandi, ci e confermato anche da Conrad Gessner die riporta 

fracta nella sua Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 427: Quin etiam si qua unguibus laesa, vel fracta sunt, ut removeat. 

516 Natura/is historia X,l 55: Super omnia est anatum ovis subditis atque exclusis admiratio prima non plane agnoscentis fetum, mox 
incerti singultus sollicite convocantis, postremo lamenta circa piscinae stagna mergentibus se pullis natura dulce. 

517 De natura deorum 11,124: Quin etiam anitum ova gallinis saepe subponimus; e quibus pulli orti primo aluntur ab his ut a matribus, 
a quibus exclusi fotique sunt; deinde eas relinquunt et effugiunt sequentes, cum primum aquam quasi naturalem domum videre 
potuerunt: tantam ingenuit animantibus conservandi sui natura custodiam. 

518 Vol. II, pp. 45-59 (Lind, 1963) 



127 



est apud Aristotelem 519 , ubi ex correctione 
Alberti contra ex rotundioribus mares, ex 
acuminatis foeminas prodire legitur. Et multi 
sane Anstotelis veterem textum, ita vere legi 
solere putant, quod posteriores Geoponicos in 
hac determinatione ab illo nihil recedere 
videant. Nam Marcellus Virgilius cum 
Columellae, et Aristotelis de sexu ovorum 
discernendo sententias contranas, ut credebat, 
recitasset: Est sane, mquit, in natura gratis author 
Aristoteks. Col{l}umella tamen lillaticam pastionem 
ex quotidiana observatione, et experientia docebat: nee 
nostrum est inter tam graves authores tantas componere 
lites. Quasi vero Columella ab Aristotelis 
sententia recedat, quod sane nequaquam facere 
quivis dicturus sit, qui haec verba eius 520 leget. 
Cum quis volet, mquit, plurimos mares exdudere 
longissima quaeque, et acutissima ova subijeiet, et 
rursum cumfaeminas, quam rotundissima. 



Sed praeter Columellam ipsemet Plinius 
ubique fere in animalium natura Aristotelis 
interpres ita sentit, dum ait 521 : Faeminas edunt 
quae rotunda gignuntur, reliqua marem. Hoc idem 
sentire videtur Horatius 522 , ubi ova oblonga 
grations sapons esse scribit, mquiens: 

Longa quibus fades oiis erit, ilia memento 
Ut sued melioris, et ut magis alba rotundis 
Ponere, namque marem cohibent callosa litellum. 
Contra Albertus, cum Avicennam senbere 
aliter videret, propnam nobis experientiam 
obtrudere non est veritus, veteremque 
Aristotelis textum immutavit, vitiumque non 



more rounded and blunt at their more pointed end, 
have a roundish shape. For we must read in such a way 
in Aristotle*, where owing to the correction by 
Albertus* we read that on the contrary from the more 
rounded ones they are arising males, females from the 
pointed ones. And really many people think the old text 
of Aristotle should usually read truly in this way, 
because they think that the later geoponic writers don't 
want at all to part from him a propos of this conclusion. 
For Marcellus Virgilius*, when explaining the 
conflicting opinions, as he was believing, of Columella 
and Aristotle regarding how to distinguish the sex of 
the eggs, he said: Really, in natural histoty Aristotle is a 
weighty author. Columella, however, taught poultry husbandry 
from daily observation and experience: and it is not for us to 
condliate such great controversies between such weighty authors. 
As if truly Columella was diverging from Aristotle's 
opinion, and really whoever will read the following his 
own words, by no manner of means he will be able to 
affirm that Columella is doing so. If someone, Columella 
says, wishes that vety many males are hatched out, he will place 
under the hen all the longest and most pointed eggs, and if on the 
contrary he wishes females, the roundest ones. 

But besides Columella, Pliny himself, who almost 
everywhere is a translator of Aristotle on nature of 
animals, does think alike when he says: Those which are 
born round produce females, the rest a male. Horace* seems to 
think the same thing when he writes that elongated eggs 
have a more pleasing savor, saying: 

Remember to put on the table the eggs with oblong appearance 

for their flavor is better, and are more rich in albumen than the 

round ones, 

for the shell contains a male yolk. 

On the contrary Albertus, seeing that Avicenna was 

writing in a different way, did not hesitate to 

superimpose on us his own experience, and he changed 



519 Historia animalium VI,2, 559a 28-30: TCC 8s GTpoytfvXa KCU Ttepicpepeictv 8)(OVTa icata TO oS,V appeva. (Roberto Ricciardi, 
2005) - Anche Lanza e Vegetti hanno optato per la seguente versione del testo aristotelico, un testo che, stando ad Aldrovandi, 
denoterebbe un'errata trascrizione: "Le uova allungate e appuntite danno femmine, quelle arrotondate, cioe con l'estremita circolare, 
danno maschi.". I due studiosi affermano pure che secondo le vedute piu recenti la Naturalis historia di Plinio dipende da una 
epitome ellenistica, cioe da un compendio della Historia animalium. In questo caso potrebbe sorgere il dubbio che l'equivoco dipenda 
da un errore dell' epitome e che Alberto vi abbia posto rimedio. Infatti Plinio la pensava in modo antitetico ad Aristotele: "Feminam 
edunt quae rotundiora gignuntur, reliqua marem." (Naturalis historia X,145). Columella concordava con Plinio: "Cum deinde quis 
volet quam plurimos mares excludi, longissima quaeque et acutissima ova subiicet: et rursus cum feminas, quam rotundissima." (De 
re rustica, VIII,5,11). Piu tardi Avicenna dissent! sia da Plinio che da Columella, e lo stesso fece Alberto tanto da affermare: "Hoc 
concordat cum experientia, quam nos in ovis experti sumus, et cum ratione." Insomnia, e questione di mettersi d'accordo su come 
la pensasse effettivamente Aristotele, anche se alia fin dei conti sembra un problema di lana caprina. Aldrovandi vuole seguire una 
certa versione del testo aristotelico, successivamente andata corrotta, e cosi Aristotele, Plinio e Columella, nonche Orazio, si 
trovano a dar ragione non solo ad Aldrovandi, ma anche alle donne di campagna che hanno pratica di chiocce e di uova da 
incubare. 

520 Columella De re rustica, VIII,5,11: Cum deinde quis volet quam plurimos mares excudi, longissima quaeque et acutissima ova 
subiciet, et rursus cum feminas quam rutundissima. 

521 Naturalis historia X,145: Quae oblonga sint ova, gratioris saporis putat Horatius Flaccus. Feminam edunt quae rotundiora 
gignuntur, reliqua marem. 

522 Sermones - o Satirae - 11,4,12-14: Longa quibus facies ovis erit, ilia memento, |ut suci melioris et ut magis alba rotundis, | ponere: 
namque marem cohibent callosa vitellum. 



128 



ex dictis Philosophi, sed ex perversa scriptura the old text of Aristotle, and infers that the error arose 

fuisse arguit. Verum quicquid llle dicat, vetus not from the affimations of the Philosopher, but from 

[225] ilia lectio vera est, et genuina Aristotelis, corrupted transcription. But whatever he says, that old 

quam scilicet Horatius, Plinius, et Columella, reading is true and authentic of Aristotle, and it is 

qui, ut dixi, ex propno penculo tradebat glaring that it has been confirmed by Horace, Pliny, and 

scnptis, comprobarunt. Columella who, as I said, was putting down in writing 

what was resulting from his own experience. 



129 



Nee tanti apud me pondens Avicennae 
patrocinium est, ut non potius Aristoteli 
gravis simo in naturae arcanis authon adhaerere 
velim: nee denique me movet ratio ilia, quam, 
citante Caelio Albertus adducit, nimirum 
virtutis perfectionem in masculinis ovis 
aequaliter ambire, extremaque continere, in 
faemminis vero a centro, in quo sit vitalis 
calor, materiam longius abire. Quinim<m>o 
contra evenire arbitror. Quis enim non videat 
in rotundis calorem magis diffundi, in oblongis 
ab una potionque parte congloban? Nee est, 
quod experientiam ems magni faciamus, earn 
enim in multis alns obtrudit, quae aeque falsa 
sunt, et minus verisimilia. Igitur, ut parerga 
istaec concludamus, sensit Aristoteles, et 
scnpsit ex rotundis progenerari faeminas, ex 
acuminatis mares. Nunc vero in textu 
Aristotelis tarn Graeco, quam Latino legitur, 
prout Albertus correxit, vel potius corrupit. 
Vetus vero Anstotelica lectio est ilia, quam 
vitiatam llle dicit. Caeterum nunquid modo, ex 
oblongis mares, ut vetus lectio habet, et ex 
rotundis faeminae, vel contra procreentur, 
Gallmarius super hoc esset consulendus. Ego 
priorem lectionem, ut dixi, libenter amplector, 
gaudeoque me cum Anstotele in ea {haeresi} 
<haerese> esse, ut ex acutis ovis mares gigni 
credam, eoque magis cum Plmium 
Aristotelicum, et Columellam omnis 
villicationis consultissimum comites erroris, si 
error fuerit, habeam. Mulieres medius fidius 
nostrae ex acutis mares, et contra ex rotundis 
faeminas procreari asserunt. 

Ornithologus 523 ex suorum relatione tradit, 
ova, ut ex eorum singulis omnibus faeminae 
generentur subijci oportere, dum Luna plena 
est, eaque ad hoc praeferri, quae in plenilumo 



Page 225 

And the support of Avicenna* does not weigh so 
heavily with me that I should not wish rather to agree 
with Aristotle*, the most imposing source about the 
secrets of nature: nor lastly is moving me that reason 
which Albertus* adduces, as Lodovico Ricchien* 
reports, and precisely that in masculine eggs the 
perfection of the force wraps up evenly, and contains 
the deeper portions, while in feminine eggs the matter 
goes away much more from the center, where the vital 
heat is located. On the contrary I think that it happens 
the opposite. For who does not see that in round eggs 
the heat is more spreading, and that in oblong ones is 
gathering preferably only in a place? Nor should we give 
much importance to Albertus' own experience, for he 
imposes this on us in many other matters which are 
equally false and not quite akin to the truth. Therefore, 
to conclude this digression - Sex of the chick and shape 
of the egg*, Aristotle felt and wrote that females are 
generated from round eggs, males from pointed ones. 
Now in the text of Aristotle, both Greek and Latin, we 
read as Albertus corrected it, or rather corrupted it. But 
the old Aristotelian reading is that one he says is 
corrupted. On the other hand on this subject, that is, as 
the ancient reading is reporting, whether really males 
come from oblong eggs, and females from round ones, 
or contrariwise, a chicken raiser should be consulted. I 
willingly accept the earlier reading, as I said, and I am 
glad to be in company of Aristotle in that current of 
thought, since I believe males are born from pointed 
eggs, all the more because I have the Aristotelian Pliny* 
and Columella*, very learned in any kind of husbandry, 
as companions in my error, if error it has been. Take it 
from me: our women affirm that males are procreated 
from pointed eggs, females from round ones. 

The Ornithologist reports, from what his fellows 
countrymen are saying, that in order to generate females 
from each egg the eggs should be placed under the hen 
when the moon is full, and that for this purpose are to 



523 Conrad Gessner Historic! Animalium III (1555), pag. 419: Sexus ovorum. Quae oblonga sunt ova, et fastigio cacuminata, 
foeminam aedunt. quae autem rotundiora et parte sui acutiore obtusa, orbiculum habent, marem gignunt, Aristoteles. eandem 
sententiam Albertus approbat: reprehendit vero translationem sui temporis tanquam contrariam iis verbis quae nunc recitavimus. 
Nostri quidem codices Graeci et Gazae translatio earn sententiam habent, quam nunc retuli, et Albertus comprobat. Avicenna 
scribit ex orbiculari ovo brevique progigni marem: ex oblongis acutisve foeminam. ipsum hoc comprobat experimentum et 
suffragatur ratio, siquidem virtutis perfectio in masculinis ovis ambit aequaliter, et continet extrema. at in foemininis, a centro 
longius abit materia in quo est vitalis calor. hoc vero plane imperfectionis argumentum est, Albertus ut citat Caelius. In ovis tarn 
difficile saporum et sexus discrimen est, ut nihil gulae proceribus aeque incertum sit, Marcellus Vergilius. qui cum Columellae et 
Aristotelis de sexu ovorum discernendo sententias contrarias recitasset: Est sane (inquit) in natura gravis author Aristoteles: 
Columella tamen villaticam pastionem ex quotidiana observatione et experientia docebat. nee nostrum est inter tarn graves 
scriptores tantas componere lites. Video Plinium quoque cum Columella et Flacco sensisse. Quae oblonga sint (inquit) ova, gratioris 
saporis putat Horatius Flaccus. Foeminam aedunt quae rotundiora gignuntur, reliqua marem. Longa quibus facies ovis erit, ilia 
memento, Ut succi melioris, et ut magis alba rotundis Ponere nanque marem cohibent callosa vitellum, Horatius lib. 2. Serm. Cum 
quis volet quam plurimos mares excludere, longissima quaeque et acutissima ova subijeiet. et rursum cum foeminas, quam 
rotundissima, Columella. Ex ovis, praesertim in plenilunio natis, si plenilunii tempore subijeiantur incubanda, et ita observetur 
temporis ratio ut in plenilunio etiam pulli excludantur, omnibus foeminas non mares nasci, quidam apud nos arbitrantur. 



130 



etiam nata sunt, item ita observandam 
temporis rationem, ut in plemlumo etiam 
excludantur. Verum arduum fuerit ova in 
plemlumo nata, in plemlumo rursus excludere. 
Nam si ilia aliquot diebus reserves, antequam 
supponas facile evanescunt, ut in his, et 
conchiliis etiam fieri paulo ante 524 diximus: sin 
mox supponas, in plemlumo non excludes. 
Solent enim viginti plerunque diebus 
incubatioms tempus absolvere. Excludunt 
tamen celerius, teste Aristotele 525 , aestate, 
quam hyeme: aestate nempe duodevigesimo, 
(undevigesimo habet Plinius 526 ) hyeme 
aliquando vigesimo qumto die. Sed forte id de 
locis calidionbus mtelligendum est. Nam 
Albertus hyeme vigesimonono die exire pullos 
dixit. 

Discrimen tamen etiam avium est, ut idem 
Aristo teles 527 author est, quod aliae magis fungi 
officio incubandi possunt. Sunt qui asserant, 
ldque in libello quodam Germanico 
manuscripto se legisse Ornithologus 528 
prodidit, pullos eo colore nasci, quo ova 
incubanda tincta fuennt. Alii mbent, ut aviaria, 
seu caveae, quibus mcluduntur, congrediuntur, 
panunt, mcubant, et excludunt, susque deque 
et ex omm parte albis velamimbus 
obtendantur, ut in Phasiam historia etiam 
diximus. 

Si quis vero pullos cupiat excludere visu 
mcundissimos, Palumbum marem cum Gallma 
coire curabit, aut Perdicem, vel Phasianum. 
Cuius coitus modum in Phasiano diximus, et 
hie sponte omittimus. Perdices copia libidims 
gaudent, et cum diversis salacioris generis 
avibus commiscentur, coeuntque inter se, et 
sobolem suscipiunt, ut in Gallinis, unde ex 
Gallma, et Perdice, et primi foetus communi 
generis utriusque specie generantur, sed 
tempore procedente, diversi ex diversis 
provenientes, demum forma faemmae lnstituti 
evadunt. Haec ex Aristotele 529 scnbit Io. 



be preferred eggs laid during full moon too, and that at 
the same time one should take account of the time, so 
that eggs may also be hatched during the fullness of the 
moon. But it would be difficult for eggs laid during full 
moon to be hatching out once more during full moon. 
For if you keep them a few days before placing them 
under the hen they easily evaporate, as a little earlier I 
said to happen in them as well as in shellfish: but if you 
set the eggs immediately you will not hatch them out 
during full moon. For they usually achieve the 
incubation phase within twenty days. But, as Aristotle 
testifies, they hatch more quickly in summer than in 
winter: exactly within eighteen days (Pliny has nineteen) 
in summer, in winter sometimes at twenty-fifth day. But 
perhaps this is to be understood for warmer places. For 
Albertus said the chicks hatch on the twenty-ninth day 
in winter. 

There is also a difference in birds, as Aristotle says, 
because some can better perform the task of incubation. 
There are those who assert, and the Ornithologist 
reported he read it in some German manuscript, that 
chicks are born of that color with which the eggs for 
incubation have been dyed. Others urge that the 
aviaries, or pens, in which they are shut up, where they 
mate, lay eggs, incubate and hatch, should be covered 
evenly and on every side with white curtains, as I said 
also in my description of the pheasant. 



However, if someone wishes to hatch chicks very easy 
on the eye, he should bustle so that a male pigeon, or a 
partridge*, or a pheasant* do mate with a hen. I spoke 
of this kind of coitus in discussing the pheasant, and I 
omit it here deliberately. Partridges enjoy a good deal of 
sexual appetite, and they mingle with more lustful 
different birds, and do mate each other, and they have 
offspring, as it happens among hens, hence from a hen 
and a partridge also the first products of conception are 
generated with an appearance which is common to both 
genera, but as time goes on, since dissimilar subjects 
come from different parents, at last they turn out 
endowed with the appearance of a female. Those things 



524 A pagina 223. 

525 Historia animalium VI,2, 559b 29-30: Le uova covate d'estate si schiudono piu rapidamente die in inverno: infatti d'estate le 
galline le fanno schiudere [560a] in diciotto giorni, mentre d'inverno ne occorrono loro talvolta anche venticinque. (traduzione di 
Mario Vegetti) - sv OKTcoiccuSeica rjpepcuc, cu aAeictopiSec, sv x&> xeipcbvi evvots ev itevte ical evicoavv. 

526 Naturalis historia X,152: Celerius excluduntur calidis diebus; ideo aestate undevicensimo educent fetum, hieme XXV. 

527 Historia animalium VI,2, 559b 32-34: Del resto gli uccelli differiscono tra loro anche per la maggiore o minore attitudine alia cova. 
(traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

528 Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 454: Gallinarum pullos eo colore enasci aiunt, quo ova incubanda tincta 
fuerint, ut in libello quodam Germanico manuscripto legimus. 

529 De generatione animalium 11,4, 783b 27-35: Per questo negli animali di specie diversa die si accoppiano maschio con femmina (si 
accoppiano quelli clie hanno periodi uguali, gravidanze simili e non differiscono molto per le dimensioni del corpo), dapprincipio la 



131 



Baptista Porta 530 . Quo loco etiam dick ex 
Gallma, et Columbo si misceantur, pullum 
procreari commistum ex utroque. Sit, mquit 
Columbus iuvenis, tunc enim temporis fervet 
in eo ardor coeundi, et seminis superfluitas. 
Senex enim coire non potest. Omni enim 
tempore coeunt Columbae, et foetant aestate, 
et hyeme. Erant nobis domi Columbus 
caelebs, et Gallma vidua: Columbus satis 
amplo corpore, et salax: Gallma parva, {sine} 
<sive> nana: una versabantur, unde tempore 
veris Columbus Gallmam supervenit, quae suo 
tempore ova dedit ab ea incubata exclusa sunt, 
pullosque ex utroque mistos nobis protulit ab 
utroque genitore retinentes effigiem. 
Magnitudo corporis, capitis forma, et rostri 
erat Columbi, pedes Gallmae, pluma quam 
albissima, et cnspa, pedes pennis operti; atque 
ut Columbus pipiebat, qui maximi nobis fuit 
oblectamenti, et lucunditatis quique non alibi 
quam in cubili, aut mulierum smu quiescebat. 

Docet item alibi ex Anstotele 531 , quonam 
modo pullus Gallmaceus quaternis alls 
nascatur, quaternisque pedibus. Ova {llli} 



are written by Giambattista Delia Porta* drawing them 
from Aristotle. In the same passage he also says that if 
subjects belonging to the hen and to the male dove are 
mingled each other, a chick is generated that is mixed 
from each parent. He says that the male dove must be 
young, for at that time the ardor for coitus is burning in 
him as well as the glut of semen. For when aged he 
cannot mate. For the doves copulate at any season, and 
lay eggs both in summer and winter. I had in my house 
a single male dove and a widowed hen: the dove was 
rather stout and lustful: the hen was small, or dwarf: 
they lived together, hence in the spring the dove 
copulated with the hen, and the eggs she laid at the 
proper time and then incubated, hatched out, and she 
gave us chicks, hybrids* from both and having the 
appearance of both parents. The size of body, the shape 
of the head and the beak were of the dove, the legs of 
the hen, with plumage as white as possible, and curly, 
the feet covered with feathers; and that one, which for 
me has been a very great pleasure and cheerfulness, 
peeped like a dove, and which did not sleep anywhere 
else except in the bed, or on the lap of the women. 

In another passage, basing himself on Aristotle, he tells 
how a gallinaceous chick may be born with four wings 
and four legs. He says: choose those eggs which you find to 



prole nasce somigliante a entrambi i genitori, come gli animali clie nascono dalla volpe e dal cane, o dalla pernice e dal gallo ma poi 
col trascorrere del tempo le generazioni successive giungono alia fine in accordo con la forma della femmina, come i semi forestieri 
si adattano alia terra, perche questa offre la materia, cioe il corpo, per i semi, (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 

530 Giambattista Delia Porta parla degli ibridi fra piccione e gallina sia nella prima edizione del Magiae naturalis (1558) dove lo fa in 
modo assai conciso, mentre si dilunga alquanto nella seconda edizione del Magiae naturalis (1584) della quale posso citare solo la 
traduzione inglese del 1658. - Magiae naturalis II (1558), Monstra quomodo gignantur, & de vi mira putrefactionis .cap. XXIV - 
ANIMAL E DIUERSIS COMIyIIXTUM - PVLLVS autem e diuersis commixtus sic eueniet: Marem palumbum cum gallina coire curabis, 
pullusque emerget non iniucundus visu. Sic quoque e perdicibus, gallinis, phasianis eueniet, diuersisque accipitribus, & pauonibus. 
Dabit mixtum foetum gallina, sibique similem admodum, eique, quo prolificum acceperit semen. At si defecerit matrix, sic dabitur. 
(trascrizione di Laura Balbiani in http://homepages.tscnet.com/omardl) - The Second Hook of Natural Magick (1584) Transcribed 
from 1658 English Editon, Printed for Thomas Young and Samual [Samuel?] Speed, at the Three Pigeons, and at the Angel in St 
Paul's Church-yard. - Chapter XIV - DIVERSE COMMIXTIONS OF HENS WITH OTHER BIRDS. - The pigeon must be young, for then 
he has more heat and desire of copulation, and much abundance of seed, for if he is old, he cannot tread. But young pigeons do 
couple at all times, and they bring forth both Summer and Winter. I had my self at home a single pigeon, and a hen that had lost 
her cock. The pigeon "was of a large size, and "wanton "withal, the hen "was but a very small one. These lived together and in the 
spring-time the pigeon trod the hen, "where by she conceived, and in her due season laid eggs, and afterward hatched them, and 
brought forth chicken that "were mixed of either kind, and resembled the shape of them both. In greatness of body, in fashion of 
head and bill, they "were like a pigeon; their feathers very white and curled, their feet like a hens feet, but they "were overgrown "with 
feathers, and they made a noise like a pigeon. And I took great pleasure in them, the rather, because they were so familiar, that they 
"would still sit upon the bed, or muzzle into some woman's bosom, (da http://homepages.tscnet.com/omardl) 

531 De generatione animalium IV,4, 740a 7-32: Percio siffatte anomalie si producono assai raramente negli unipari, e piu nei multipari e 
soprattutto negli uccelli, e tra gli uccelli nei polli. Questi non sono solo multipari perche depongono spesso uova, come il genere dei 
colombi, ma perche portano contemporaneamente molti prodotti del concepimento, e si accoppiano in ogni stagione. Percio 
producono molti gemelli: i prodotti del concepimento grazie alia reciproca vicinanza si formano insieme, come molti frutti fanno 
talvolta. In tutti quelli die hanno i tuorli definiti dalla membrana nascono due piccoli separati senza alcuna superfetazione, mentre 
in quelli clie hanno i tuorli contigui e senza alcuna interruzione i piccoli nascono anomali con un corpo e una testa, ma quattro 
gambe e quattro ali, perche le parti superiori dell'animale si formano prima e dal bianco, essendo controllato il loro alimento 
proveniente dal tuorlo, mentre la parte inferiore si forma dopo e l'alimento e unico e indistinto. E accaduto di vedere anche un 
serpente a due teste per la stessa causa, perche anche questo genere e oviparo e multipara. Le anomalie sono pero piu rare in essi 
per la configurazione dell'utero. Data la sua dimensione la massa delle uova si trova infatti disposta in fila. Non accade nulla del 
genere ne alle api ne alle vespe, perche la loro nascita awiene in cellule separate. Nei caso dei polli awiene invece l'opposto, e 
anche in questo caso e chiaro che la causa di questi fenomeni deve essere attribuita alia materia, perche anche tra gli altri animali si 
hanno soprattutto nei multipari. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 



132 



<illa>, mquit 532 , seligito, quae {bma} <bmos> 
comperies habere {boleta} <boletos 
(3co!\r|Taq>, pellicula quadam non tenui 
intercursante, sed albumma { continentia} 
<continuentur>, quae foecundiores {fere} 
<saepe> Gallmae assolent parere: ex 
magnitudine cognosces: patetque 

{iutuentibus} <intuentibus> Soli exponendo, 
exuperante {etiam} <iam> materia 

productum, {et} <ex> plunum seminum 
commixtu, semenque habeat pullorum<,> 
glocienti Gallmae lam supponas excubanda, ut 
suo insessu foveat ea: elapso lam debito 
tempore tales excludet foetus, pedibus, alisque 
quaternis, curabis ut commode educentur. Si 
autem membrana disterminabitur, gemini 
discreti pulli generantur, sine ulla supervacua 
parte. 



Sic enim et biceps nascetur serpens, [226] et 
animal omne, quod ovo excluditur: si tale 
evenerit, non mediocris erit admirationis, 
saepius enim monstra in prolificis animalibus, 
et multiparis, quam in minus foecundis, et 
{imperfectioribus} <m perfectioribus > 
animalibus nascuntur: in aliis vero facilitas 
generationis pr<a>evalet: unde in vilionbus 
animalibus facilius monstra {proveniunt} 
<prodeunt>, quam in nobilibus. Haec itaque 
omnia Porta 533 , qui etiam docet 534 , quomodo 



have two yolks, without a thin membrane running between them, 
but with continuous albumens, and which often the more fertile 
hens are accustomed to lay: you will recognise such eggs by their 
largeness: and this is clear for those who carefully look at them 
holding them up to the sun, as they are the product of 
superabundant matter, resulting from the mixture of many 
semens, and it must have the embtyo of chicks: place at once these 
eggs under a clucking hen for incubation, so that she may warm 
them by sitting on them: when the due time has elapsed, she will 
hatch out such foetus, that is, with four wings and legs, and you 
shall then see that they are raised properly. But if a membrane 
will separate the yolks, separated twin chicks are generated, 
without any unnecessary part. 



Page 226 

In fact in this way also two-headed snake will be bom and any 
animal hatchingfrom an egg: if such an event will take place it is 
a subject of no little admiration, for monstrosities are bom more 
often amongprolific andgiiing birth to many young animals than 
among less fecund and more perfect animals: for in the former ones 
the facility of generation prevails: hence among lower rank animals 
monstrosities come forth more easily than among higher rank 
animals. All this is referred by Giambattista Delia Porta*, 
who also inform us how a rooster or a capon takes the 
place of a dead hen or of one who is unwilling to rear 
chicks. He urges the chicks be shown him and food be 



532 Le correzioni al testo di Aldrovandi vengono fatte in base al testo originale di Delia Porta, clie in alcuni punti e diverso da quello 
riportato da Aldrovandi. Ecco il testo di Giambattista Delia Porta tratto dalla prima edizione del Magiae naturalis, quella del 1558, 
che si componeva di soli 4 libri. Magiae naturalis II (1558), Monstra quomodo gignantur, & de vi mira putrefactionis .cap. XXIV - 
PULLUS GALLINACEUS QUATERNIS ALIS ENASCATUR, QUATERNISQUE PEDIBUS - Quod docet Aristo teles: Oua ilia seligito, quae bma 
comperies retinere boleta, pellicula quadam non tenui intercursante, sed albumina continuentur, quae foecundiores saepe gallinae 
assolent parere, ex magnitudine cognosces, patetque intuentibus Soli exponendo, exuberante iam materia productum, ex plurium 
seminum commixtu, semenque habeat pullorum, glocienti gallinae iam excubanda supponas, vt suo insessu foueat ea, elapso iam 
debito tempore tales excludet foetus, pedibus, alisque quaternis, curabis vt commode educentur. Si autem membrana 
disterminabitur, gemini discreti pulli generantur, sine vlla superuacua parte. Sic enim & biceps nascetur serpens, & animal omne, 
quod ouo excluditur: si tale euenerit, non mediocris erit admirationis: saepius enim monstra in prolificis animalibus, & multiparis, 
quam in minus foecundis, & in perfectioribus animalibus, in aliis vero facilitas generationis praeualet: vnde in vilioribus animalibus 
facilius monstra prodeunt, quam in nobilibus. Sic quoque aliter generare possumus. (trascrizione di Laura Balbiani in 
http://homepages.tscnet.com/omardl) 

533 Le correzioni al testo di Aldrovandi vengono fatte in base al testo originale di Delia Porta, che in alcuni punti e diverso da quello 
riportato da Aldrovandi. Ecco il testo di Giambattista Delia Porta tratto dalla prima edizione del Magiae naturalis, quella del 1558, 
che si componeva di soli 4 libri. Magiae naturalis II (1558), Monstra quomodo gignantur, & de vi mira putrefactionis .cap. XXIV - 
PULLUS GALLINACEUS QUATERNIS ALIS ENASCATUR, QUATERNISQUE PEDIBUS - Quod docet Aristo teles: Oua ilia seligito, quae bma 
comperies retinere boleta, pellicula quadam non tenui intercursante, sed albumina continuentur, quae foecundiores saepe gallinae 
assolent parere, ex magnitudine cognosces, patetque intuentibus Soli exponendo, exuberante iam materia productum, ex plurium 
seminum commixtu, semenque habeat pullorum, glocienti gallinae iam excubanda supponas, vt suo insessu foueat ea, elapso iam 
debito tempore tales excludet foetus, pedibus, alisque quaternis, curabis vt commode educentur. Si autem membrana 
disterminabitur, gemini discreti pulli generantur, sine vlla superuacua parte. Sic enim & biceps nascetur serpens, & animal omne, 
quod ouo excluditur: si tale euenerit, non mediocris erit admirationis: saepius enim monstra in prolificis animalibus, & multiparis, 
quam in minus foecundis, & in perfectioribus animalibus, in aliis vero facilitas generationis praeualet: vnde in vilioribus animalibus 
facilius monstra prodeunt, quam in nobilibus. Sic quoque aliter generare possumus. (trascrizione di Laura Balbiani in 
http://homepages.tscnet.com/omardl) 



133 



Gallus, vel capus in mortuae, vel educere 
pullos Gallmae nolentis locum succedat. Iubet 
autem illi ostendi pullos, et blande manibus 
dorsum pertractando praeben cibum, ut 
manibus edere assuescat, et cicur fiat. Mox 
pectus deplumando urticis perfricari atque ita 
paucis interiectis horis adeo optime pullos 
recepturum promittit, et cibum eis 
exhibiturum, ut vix unquam mater Gallma tale 
fecent. Verum ipsemet Ansto teles 535 Gallos 
nonnullos visos esse testatur, qui cum forte 
faemina interiisset, ipsi officio matris 
fungerentur, pullos ductando, fovendo, 
educando, ita ne de caetero, vel cucu<r>rire, 
vel coire appeterent. Et Aelianus 536 Galli laudes 
prosequens{;} <,> Matrice Gallina, <i>nquit, 
extincta, ipse incubat; et pullos ex oiis excludit, ac turn 
silentio utitur. Idem etiam testatur Plmius 537 , 
Narrantur, inquiens, et mortua Gallina mariti 
earum lisi succedentes iniicem, et reliqua foetae more 
facientes, abstinentesque se a cantu. Quae cum ita 
sint, Gallos aliquando absque {homiuum} 
<hominum> opera, Gallinarum officio 
functos fuisse manifesto constat. 

Quod si vero nee Gallina nee Gallus excubare 
ova velmt, nondum desperandum est: nam 
praeterquam quod uterque immutari possit: 
possunt etiam in pnmis ab homme perfici, 
teste Plinio 538 , qui Liviam Augustam ait ovum 
in sinu fovendo exclusisse, ut postea dicemus, 
et ante etiam diximus 539 , indeque fortasse 
nuper inventum esse, ut ova in calido loco 



offered him while his back is stroked gently by hands, 
so that he gets accustomed to eat from hands and 
becomes tame. Next, in removing the feathers from his 
chest he is rubbed with nettles* and he assures that thus 
after a few hours he will accept so properly the chicks, 
and that he will show them the food, that scarcely any 
mother hen has ever behaved in such a way. Truly 
Aristotle* himself reports that some roosters have been 
seen who, when by chance the female had died, 
assumed the duties of the mother in leading, warming, 
and rearing the chicks, so that they not bother about 
other things, neither crowing nor copulating. And 
Aelian*, going on with the praise of the rooster, says: 
When a laying hen dies, he himself incubates, and hatches out the 
chicks from eggs, and at that time he keeps silent. Also Pliny* 
testifies the same when saying: They say that when the hen 
is dead their males have been seen to relieve her and to do the 
remaining things like a female with chicks and to abstain from 
crowing. Since these are the facts, it clearly follows that 
sometimes roosters, without human intervention, took 
on the task of hens. 



But if neither hen nor rooster wish to incubate eggs, 
one must not despair: for, beyond the fact that they can 
change places each other, first of all also a human being 
can perform this task, according to Pliny, who says 
Livia Drusilla* - or Julia Augusta - hatched an egg by 
warming it in her bosom, as I shall say later and as I 
also said before, and that perhaps hence recently it has 
been discovered how eggs placed in a warm place upon 



534 Giambattista Delia Porta, The Fourth Book of Natural Magick (1584), Chapter XXVI - To HATCH EGGS WITHOUT A HEN. - A Cock 
fosters Chickens as the Hen does. For they would die, if none did keep them. But a cock or capon "will perform what the hen should. Do 
but show him the chicken, and stroke him gently on the back, and give him meat out of your hands often, that he may become 
tame. Then pull the feathers off of his breast, and rub him with nettles. For in a few hours, not to say days, he will take care of the 
chickens so "well and give them their meat, that no hens did ever do it as he will, (da http://homepages.tscnet.com/omardl) 

535 Historia animalium IX,49 631b 13-16: "H8rj 8s ical Tcbv dppevcov Tivec, axp6r|aav axo\o]iEvr]c, xf\c, BrjAeiac, auTol itepl 
rove, veoxxovc, xr\v xf\c, BrjAsiac, Ttoioupevoi aiceucopiav, TtepidyovTec, ts ical eicrpecpovTec, outcoc, ooats pfyte kokku^svv 
8TV l-irjt O^eueiV STtl^eipeiV. - E si sono visti persino alcuni maschi, essendo morta la femmina, prendersi essi stessi cura dei 
pulcini come la femmina, portandoli in giro e allevandoli cosicche non si mettono ne a cantare e neanche ad accoppiarsi. - lam vero 
mares quidam visi sunt amissa gallina, ipsimet apparatum ferre pullis: eos etiam circumducere et enutrire ita, ut non amplius 
cucuriant, aut veneri operam dent, (traduzione di Giulio Cesare Scaligero*) 

536 La natura degli animali IV,29: Tf|c, 8s opviBoc, axoXmXviac,, ETtcpd^ev avxbc,, ical eicAeitei td eS, sautotj veoTTia aicoTtcbv 
ov yap aSsv tots BaupaaTrj tvvv ical cotoppfyrcp aiTia, ved pa tov 8oksi yap pov auyyivcoaiceiv eauTco BrjAsvaq epya 
ical OUK appsvoq SpcbvTl TrjVllcdSe. - Morta la gallina, egli stesso cova, e fa schiudere i propri figlioletti standosene in silenzio; 
perche non canta in quel periodo di tempo e dovuto a un qualche motivo strano e misterioso, per Zeus; infatti mi sembra sia 
consapevole che cosi sta svolgendo le mansioni di una femmina e non di un maschio. 

537 Naturalis historia X,155: Narrantur et mortua gallina mariti earum visi succedentes in vicem et reliqua fetae more facientes 
abstinentesque se cantu. 

538 Naturalis historia X,154: Quin et ab homine perficiuntur. Iulia Augusta prima sua iuventa Tib. Caesare ex Nerone gravida, cum 
parere virilem sexum admodum cuperet, hoc usa est puellari augurio, ovum in sinu fovendo atque, cum deponendum haberet, 
nutrici per sinum tradendo, ne intermitteretur tepor; nee falso augurata proditur. Nuper inde fortassis inventum, ut ova calido in 
loco inposita paleis igne modico foverentur homine versante, pariterque et stato die illinc erumperet fetus. 

539 Ne ha parlato a pagina 207 e ne riparlera a pagina 260. 



134 



imposita paleis igne modico foverentur, 
homine versante pariter, ut stato tempore lllmc 
erumperet foetus. Sed vetus Aristotelis 
praeceptum est, si aut tempus sit bene 
temperatum, aut locus in quo ova manent, 
tepidus, non avium tantum ova concoqui sine 
parentis incubitu, sed quadruped<i>um 
oviparorum etiam. Et alibi 540 ita scnbit: Incubitu 
aiium ova exdudi naturae ratio est: non tamen ita 
solum ova aperiuntur, sed etiam sponte in terra, ut in 
Aegypto obruta fimo pulRtiem procreant. 

Cuius rei Diodorus Siculus 541 etiam meminit 
his verbis: Quaedam suo studio adinventa sunt, ut 
qui (loquitur autem de Aegyptns) aves, aut 
Anseres nutriunt, praeter f earum, quae apud alios 
homines habentur procreandi nomina, ut in numerum 
dictu mirabilem aiium evadant: non enim ova incubant 
aves, sed ipsi ingenio, et naturali arte educant foetus. 

De eisdem populis ita Paulus Iovius 542 : Apud 
Aegyptios magna copia est pullorum Gallinaceomm. 
Nam apud illos Gallinae sua ova non incubant: sed ea 
in clibanis, tepore sensim adhibito, ita foventur, ut 
mirabili arte compendioque pulli intra paucos dies 
progignantur, simul et educantur, quos illi non numero, 
sed mensura venales habent. Modiolum statuunt sine 
fundo, quern ut compleverint, tollunt. Et Tragus 
denique, In Aegypto, in quit, circa Alcaimm ova arte 
excluduntur. clibanum parant cum multis foraminibus, 
quibus ova diversa, Gallinamm, Anserum et aliarum 
aiium imponunt, turn fimo calido integunt clibanum, et 
si opus fuerit, ignem circumque faciunt, sic {ovo sua} 
<ova suo> quaeque tempore maturescunt. 

Verum in eo Iovius, et Tragus a Diodoro, et 
Aristotele discrepant, quod hi nulla clibani 
facta mentione, ova tantum fimo obrupta 
pullitiem procreare dicant: quare dicendum 
esset Aegyptios nunc diverso modo, quam 
solebant olim, pullos excludere, cum tamen 
talis exclusio celeriter absolveretur, ut vel ex 



straw are warmed up with little fire, while a man is 
turning them at the same time, so that the fetus comes 
out at the stated time. But it is an old advice of Aristotle 
that, if the season is very mild or the place in which 
eggs lie is lukewarm, not only the eggs of the birds 
come to maturity without the incubation of the parent, 
but also those of quadruped oviparous animals. And 
elsewhere he writes thus: It is a rule of nature that eggs of 
birds hatch by incubation: but eggs open not only in this manner, 
but also spontaneously in the earth, as in Egypt where thy give 
birth to a clutch of chicks after they have been covered up by 
dung*. 

Diodorus Siculus* also mentions this fact by these 
words: Certain things have been discovered thanks to their own 
endeavor, as of those (anyway he is speaking of Egyptians) 
who raise hens, or geese, besides [...] those, which among other 
men are thought methods of reproduction, so that they have as 
result a number of birds extraordinary to say: for don 't are the 
hens incubating eggs, but they themselves hatch chicks by their 
talent and natural cleverness. 

Paolo Giovio* writes about the same peoples as 
follows: Among Egyptians there is a large abundance of 
chickens. For among them the hens do not incubate their eggs: but 
in ovens, with warmth used moderately, they are so warmed that 
with admirable ability and time's shortening within a few days the 
chicks are hatched, and at the same time they are raised, and they 
think that they can be marketed not according to the number but 
to the si^e. They set up a bucket without bottom which thy take 
away when they filled it up. And finally Tragus - 
Hieronymus Bock* - says: In Egypt in neighborhoods of 
Cairo eggs are hatched with cleverness: they prepare an oven with 
many openings on which they place different sorts of eggs, of hens, 
geese and other birds, then they cover the oven with warm dung, 
and if there is need, they light afire all around, so each egg comes 
to maturity at its proper time. 

Indeed in this regard Giovio and Tragus disagree with 
Diodorus and Aristotle because without any mention of 
an oven they say that eggs covered only with dung give 
birth to a clutch of chicks: therefore it should be said 
that the Egyptians now hatch out chicks in a different 
manner than they formerly used, and that such a 
hatching comes at end quickly, like I gather from the 



540 De generatione animalium 111,2 752b: II piccolo dunque nasce quando, come si e detto, l'uccello lo cova. Nondimeno anche quando 
la stagione e temperata o soleggiato il luogo in cui si trovano deposte, sia le uova degli uccelli sia quelle dei quadrupedi ovipari 
giungono a cozione. Tutti questi depongono le uova al suolo ed esse giungono a cozione per effetto del calore della terra; quanti poi 
dei quadrupedi ovipari sono soliti covare, lo fanno soprattutto a scopo di difesa. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) § Historia animalium 
VI,2 559a 30-559b 2: Le uova si schiudono in seguito alia cova da parte degli uccelli; possono tuttavia farlo anche spontaneamente 
al suolo, come in Egitto, se vengono immerse nel letame. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

541 Bibliotheca historica 1,74,4-5. — La successiva lacuna nel testo di Aldrovandi suona piu o meno cosi: "fanno molte scoperte da se 
stessi, e ... per l'estremo impegno in queste attivita gli allevatori di polli e di oche, oltre a far nascere i suddetti animali in modo 
naturale, cosi come si fa negli altri paesi, ne mettono insieme un numero indicibile per la loro particolare abilita. Infatti non fanno 
schiudere le uova con la cova degli uccelli, ma eseguendo loro stessi l'operazione artificialmente in modo sorprendente, con 
intelligenza e capacita non meno efficaci dell'azione della natura." 

542 Historiarum temporis sui liber XVIII. (Aldrovandi) 



135 



hoc colligo, quod, ut Aristoteles pariter testis 
est, quidam potator Syracusis, ovis sub storea 
in terra positis, tamdiu potaret, donee ova 
foetum ederent. lam vero, et cum in vasis 
quibusdam tepidis essent comecta sponte sua 
pullos edidisse, idem Aristoteles 543 author est. 

Si Gallina non incubet, inquit Democntus, hac 
industria complures habebis pullos. Qua die incubanti 
Gallinae ova subijeis, eadem stercus Gallinaceum 
acripiens, idipsum contere, cribraque ac denique in vasa 
inijee ventricosa, pennas illi{s} 544 Gallinarum 
circumpone. Post haec autemfigura recta imponito ova, 
sic utpars mucronata superne tendat, ac dein rursus ex 
eodem fimo tandiu illis inspetgito, donee undique 
inducta tideantur. At ibi duos, aut tres dies primos sic 
intacta esse ova permiseris, singulis postea diebus ilia 
convertito, cavens ne contingantur mutuo, ut videlicet ex 
aequo incalescant. Post ligesimam autem diem, dum 
sub Gallina ova excludi incipiunt, invenies ea, quae in 
alveis {suut} <sunt>, circumfracta. Ob quam 
nimirum causam etiam inscribunt diem, qua 
supponuntur, ne dierum numerus ignoretur. Vigesima 
itaque die putamen extrahens, pullos in cophinum 
conijeito, eos alens delicatissime. Ascisce etiam 
Gallinam, quae {modorabitur} <moderabitur> 
omnia. Haec Democritus, Andrea a {Lucana} 
<Lacuna> interprete, qui Graecam vocem 
ydatpaq vasa ventricosa interpretation 
Cornarius ventnculos: Hieronymus Cardanus, 
qui hunc locum in libros suos de subtilitate 
trans cripsit, pulvmana, his verbis: Pulvinana 
duo reple stercore Gallinarum tenuissime trito: 
inde plumas Gallinarum annecte consuendo 
utrique molles, ac densas. Ova vero capite 
tenuiore supra extante, colloca super alterum 
pulvmar. Demde reliquum superpone in loco 
calido, permitteque immota duobus diebus: 
post vero ad vigesimam usque diem, ilia sic 
verte, ut undique aequaliter foveantur: inde 
stata [227] die, quae mxta vigesimam pnmam 
est, pipillantes lam ex ovo sensim educito. 



fact that, as also Aristotle testifies, at Syracuse a 
drunkard who, after he placed eggs in earth under a 
mat, was going on with drinking until eggs didn't give 
birth to the fetus. Aristotle himself writes that the eggs 
hatched out chicks by themselves even when placed in 
some warm vessels. 

If a hen does not incubate, Bolos of Mendes* says, you will 
have many chicks by the following job. On the day when you place 
the eggs under an incubating hen, on the same day take some 
chicken dung, crumble and sieve it, and then place it in bellied 
pots and put hen feathers all around the dung. After this, place 
over it the eggs upright so that their pointed ends are upturned, 
and in addition prinkle them with the same dung until thy seem 
to be wholly covered. But allow the eggs to remain this way 
untouched for first two or three days, then on each day thereafter 
turn the eggs over, taking care that they do not touch each other, of 
course so that they may be warmed evenly. After the twentieth day, 
when eggs under a hen begin to hatch, you will search the eggs 
cracked all around laying in the hollow pots. Just for this reason 
they also write down the day on which they are placed for 
incubation, so that the number of days is not unknown. Therefore 
on the twentieth day take off the egg shells, put the chicks into a 
basket, and nourish them with very minute feed. Also bring in a 
hen who will supervise everything. These are the words of 
Bolos of Mendes, as interpreted by Andres Laguna*, 
who translates the Greek word gdstras - large bellied 
pots - with vasa ventricosa: Janus Cornarius* with 
ventriculos, bellies: Gerolamo Cardano*, who transcribed 
this passage in his books De subtilitate, with cushions, 
and by these words: Fill two cushions with crumbled 
hen's dung: then by sewing fasten on both soft and 
thick hen's feathers. Upon either cushion place the eggs 
but with the sharper end sticking out upward. Then 
place over it the other one in a warm place and let them 
not be moved for two days: then until the twentieth day 
turn them in such a way that they are warmed evenly on 
all sides: afterwards at the stated day, corresponding 
approximately to the twenty-first, you will bring 
carefully the already peeping ones out of the egg. 



543 Historic! animalium VI,2 559b 2-4: E dicono clie a Siracusa un ubriacone, messe delle uova in terra sotto la sua stuoia, continuo a 
bere ininterrottamente per tanto tempo che fece schiudere le uova. Ed e anche capitato clie delle uova, poste in vasi caldi, 
maturassero e si aprissero spontaneamente. (traduzione di Mario Vegetti) 

544 II testo e dedotto da pagina 429 di Gessner Historia animalium III (1555), dove non e'e illis (riferibile ai vasi panciuti) bensi Mi 
(riferibile alio stereo, oppure awerbio di stato in luogo = in quel luogo la). Ecco il testo di Gessner trascritto da Aldrovandi parola 
per parola eccetto illis/illi: Si gallina non incubet, hac industria complures habebis pullos. qua die incubanti gallinae ova subijeis, 
eadem stercus gallinaceum accipiens id ipsum contere, cribraque ac denique in vasa inijee ventricosa, pennas illi gallinarum 
circumpone. § Gessner ha tratto il brano dalla traduzione dei Geoponica di Andres Laguna*(1541), sostituendo disseminans di Laguna 
con circumpone di Cornarius: [...] pennas illi gallinarum disseminans. § Janus Cornarius* (1543) ha tradotto con eique, riferito alio 
stereo: [...] eique gallinarum pennas circumpone. § Dal testo originale pubblicato da Teubner (1994) si evince chiaramente che illi ed 
eique sono riferiti alio stereo. Infatti il testo greco suona cosi: Trj 8s KOTtpCp Ttep{(3cAe OpVlBlCOV ItTSpd. § Quindi si emenda illis di 
Aldrovandi con illi. 



136 



Page 227 



Ego etsi hoc etiam modo ova excludi posse ratio 
loqui videtur: video tamen aliud sensisse 
Democritum, verbis ems Graecis diligentius 
examinatis, et placet gastran vas ventncosum 
vertere, ut prius in tale vas intelligamus fimum 
inijciendum, turn super fimo imponendas plumas 
(ut ETtiftaWe potius quam 7tep{(3a!\!\e legatur) in 
plumis ova: postremo rursus fimum addendum 
donee contegantur ova. Sed ut ut est, Porta hoc 
a se diligentissime expertum non successisse 
scnbit, nee quomodo succedere possit, sese 
conijeere posse. Hoc etiam addens quod qui 
clibanum laudant, modum non ostendant quo id 
fieri possit. Unde quae ipsemet fecit, et ab aliis 
factitata vidit minutissime demonstrat 545 . 



Ut parvo labore, et sine Gallmis quivis ova 
clibano calido excludere possit, vas fieri vult 



As far as I am concerned, although reason seems to 
suggest that eggs can hatch also in this manner, 
nevertheless I reckon that Bolos of Mendes*, after his 
Greek words have been more careful checked, he 
meant another thing, and it is my opinion to translate 
gastran with vas ventncosum - bellied pot, since I mean 
that dung must first be thrown into it, afterwards 
feathers are to be placed upon the dung (reading 
epiballe - put on - rather than periballe - put around) and 
the eggs within the feathers: lastly further dung must 
be added until eggs are covered. But however that 
may be, Giambattista Delia Porta* writes that this, 
tested by him with a lot of diligence, has not been 
followed by success, and that he himself cannot 
gather how it could be successful. He is also adding 
that those who are praising the oven do not give 
account for the way thanks to which it can happen. 
Hence he is describing down to the smallest detail 
what he himself has done and what he saw done 
usually by others*. 

In order that with little labor and without hens 
anyone can hatch eggs by a heated portable oven, he 



545 Giambattista Delia Porta, The Fourth Book of Natural Magick (1584), Chapter XXVI - To HATCH EGGS WITHOUT A HEN. - Hatch 
Eggs in a hot Oven. - Make a vessel of "wood like a hogshead. Let it be round, and the diameter so long as your arm, that you thrust in, 
that you may lay and turn the eggs. Let it be four foot in altitude. This we divide by three boards "within into three parts. Let the 
first be a foot and half, the second little above a foot, the third a foot, and the fourth the least of all. Let every concavity divided 
"with boards have a little door thereto, so large as you may thrust in your arm, and its shut to open and shut at pleasure. Let the first 
and second loft be made of thin boards, or "wrought with twigs. Let the third be of brass arched, and the fourth of solid "wood. Let 
the first and second stage have a hole in the center three fingers broad, through "which must pass a brass or iron pipe tinned over. 
That must come half a foot above the second story, and so in the lower most, but in the bottom the orifice must be "wider, like a 
pyramis or funnel. So that it can fitly receive the heat of the flame of a candle put under it. In the second story let the pipe be 
perforated about the top. That the heat breathing forth thence, the place may be kept "warm, and the eggs may be hot in the upper 
part, as they are under the hen. Above these three rooms strew sawdust, which I think is best to cover them. Let the sawdust be 
highest about the sides of the hogshead, but less in the middle. In the bottom where the pipe is lower, the eggs lie upon it may 
receive the heat that comes from the pipe every "way. In the third story where the pipe ends, let it be pressed down about the sides, 
and higher in the middle about the pipe. Let a linen cloth cover the sawdust. A fine cloth that if it be fouled it may be washed again. 
And the chicken hatched may go upon it. Lay upon every story a hundred eggs more or less. Let the great end of the eggs lie 
downwards, the sharp end upwards. The "walls of the hogshead that are above the sawdust "with the concavities , and the upper part 
of the story must be covered "with sheep skins, that their "warmth may keep in the heat. In the lower concavity under the tunnel, 
must a light lamp be placed, at first "with two wicks, in the end "with three in Summer. But at beginning of "winter, first with three, 
and last with four or five. Let the light fall upon the middle of the tunnel, that the heat ascending the pipe, the rooms may all heat 
alike. The place where this vessel stands must be "warm and stand in a by place. In the lower part where the lamp is lighted, you 
must lay no eggs. For the heat there "will not hatch them. But where the chickens are wet when they are first hatched, shut them in 
here to dry them by the "warm heat of the lamp. Marking twice or thrice every day whether the heat abate, be "warm or very hot. We 
shall know it thus. Take an egg out of the place, and lay it on your eye, for that "will try it "well. If it is too hot for you, the heat is too 
much. If you feel it not, it is "weak. A strong heat "will hatch them, but a "weak one "will make them addle. So you must add or take 
away from your lamp, to make the light adequate and proportionable. After the fourth day that the eggs begin to be warmed, take 
them out of the cells, and not shaking them hard, hold them gently against the sun beams or light of a candle, and see whether they 
be not addle. For if you discern any fibers or bloody matter run about the egg, it is good. But if it is clear and transparent, it is 
naught. Put another egg in place of it. All that are good must be daily turned at the lamp heat, and turn them round as the hen is 
found to do. We need not fear spoiling the eggs, or if any man does handle them gently. In summer after nineteen or twenty days, 
or in winter after twentyfive or twentyeight days, you shall take the eggs in your hand, and hold them against the Sun and see how 
the chicken beak stands. There break the shell, and by the hole of the egg take the chicken by the beak and pull out its head. And 
lay it in its place again. For the chicken "will come forth itself. And when it is come out, put it in the lower cell as I said. But let the 
lamp stand something from the parement, or the chickens allured by the light, should pick at it and be burned by it. And if you do 
work diligently as I have shown you, in three hundred eggs, you shall hardly loose ten or twenty at most, (da 
http://homepages.tscnet.com/omardl) 



137 



ligneum, valde simile dolio, rotundum, cuius 
diameter tantae sit longitudims, quantum capiat 
brachium lntromittendum, ut ova componere, et 
convertere possit: altitedo quatuor pedum 546 . 
Hoc tribus tabulatis mtes, in quatuor partes 
dividemus. Sit pnmum sexquipedale, secundum 
paulo mams pede, tertium pedale, quartern 
omnium minimum. Habeat unaquaeque cellula 
tabulatis divisa suum ostiolum latitudine 
quantum brachium immitti possit, suaque 
opercula, ut apte claudi, et reserari possint. 
Primum, et secundum tabulatum ex tenuibus 
tabellulis, vel vimmibus contexta sint; tertium sit 
aeneum, fornicatum, postremum ligneum, 
solidumque. Primum et secundum tabulatum in 
centro foramen habeat, latitudinis trium 
digitorum, per quod aeneus canalis, vel ferreus, 
stanno sublitus. Is supra secundum tabulatum ad 
medium pedem semper emineat, sic et in 
mfenon, sed in imo patentioris fiat oris ad 
modum pyramidis, vel mfundibuli, ut concmne 
calorem, et flammam suppositae lucernae 
excipere possit. In secundo tabulate canalis circa 
supremum locum perforates sit, ut inde exhalans 
calor, locum tepide foveat, et ova ex superiori 
parte calescant, ut Gallmae faciunt. 

Super haec tria tabulata spargater scobs lignea, 
quae tibi aptissimo open videbitur. Scobs circa 
dolii latera erectior, in medio minus: in imo, ubi 
canalis, depressior, ut ova supra earn mcubantia 
calorem undique a canali provenientem 
excipiant. In tertio tabulate, ubi canalis 
termmater, sit circa latera depressa, in medio 
circa canalem altior: supra scobem lmteus 
extendater subtilis, si deturpater, ut denuo lavan 
possit, et exclusi pulli supra ilium ambulare 
possint. 

Singulis tabulis centena ova accomodenter, plus, 
minus. Retesa ovi pars infra, acuta sursum 
vergat. Panetes dolii supra scobem extantes intra 
cellulas, et superna pars tabulati, ovillis pellibus 
contegantur, ut suo tepore calorem retineant. 
Inferion cellula sub mfundibulo lucerna 
accomodetur accensa, in initio bmis {ellichniis} 
<ellychmis>, in fine tribus aestatis tempore, sed 
hyeme initio tribus, postremo quatuor, aut 
quinque. Fenat lumen in medio infundibuli, ut 
per canalem ascendens calor, aeque cellulas 
concalfaciat. 



should make a wooden vessel very similar to a barrel, 
round, with a diameter long enough to receive an arm 
thrust into it, so that one may place eggs within it and 
turn them over: it should be four feet high. When 
three floors are arranged inside, it will be divided into 
four parts. The first space should be a foot and a half 
in height, the second hardly more than a foot, the 
third a foot, the fourth the lowest of all. Each 
compartment, so divided by floors, must have a little 
its own opening wide enough to receive the arm 
thrust through it, as well as a little door so the 
compartment can be fairly closed and opened. The 
first and second floors should be made of thin slats or 
of interwoven wickers; the third should be of bronze 
and arched, the last of solid wood. Let the first and 
second floors have a hole in the center, three fingers 
wide, through which there is a bronze or a tin-plated 
iron pipe. The pipe should ever project half a foot 
above the second floor, so in the lower floor too, but 
at the bottom let it have a widened mouth in the 
shape of a pyramid or funnel, so that it can receive 
evenly the heat and the flame of a lantern placed 
beneath. In the second floor let the pipe be perforated 
at the top so that the heat exhaling from it warms this 
place, and the eggs get warm from above as hens do. 

Above these three floors scatter sawdust which will 
come in very useful for you. Let the sawdust be 
higher around the sides of the barrel, less in the 
middle: at the center, where the pipe is, let it be even 
lower, so that the eggs incubating upon the sawdust 
may receive on all sides the warmth coming from the 
pipe. On the third floor, where the pipe ends, the 
sawdust should be pressed down around the sides, 
higher in the center around the pipe: spread a thin 
linen* cloth, which can be washed if it becomes 
soiled, upon the sawdust, so that the hatched-out 
chicks may walk around on it. 

Let arrange on each floor one hundred eggs, more or 
less. The blunt end of the eggs must turn downward, 
the sharp end upward. Inside the compartments, 
cover the barrel's walls sticking above the sawdust as 
well as the supreme part of the floor, with sheepskins, 
so that they retain the warmth by their insulating 
power. Place a lighted lantern in the lower 
compartment under the funnel, and in summer, in the 
beginning, with two wicks, with three wicks towards 
the end, but in winter in the beginning with three and 
in the end with four or five wicks. Let the flame strike 
the middle of the funnel so that the heat ascending 
through the pipe can evenly warm the compartments. 



546 A seconda del campo d'impiego, il piede italiano oscillava da 30 a 50 cm. 



138 



Locus in quo hoc vas steterit, sit tepidus, et 
solitanus. In mferion parte, ubi accensa lucerna 
non oportet ova accomodare, quia calorem non 
habet ad ova excludenda aptum. Sed ubi pulli 
madidi, quam primum ovis excluduntur, hie 
claudantur, ut tepido flammae calore madorem 
ex<s>iccent: bis, terve singulis diebus 
animadvertendo, si calor remissus, tepens, aut 
intensus sit. Quod ita cognoscemus: ovum e 
cellula extrahemus, ut supra oculum ponendo 
optime expenemur. Nam si offendit, intensus 
est: si insensibilis, remissus. Intensus calor 
excoquit ova, remissus irrita facit. Ob id lucerna 
lumen addendo, et minuendo exaequatum 
reddes. 

Post quartum diem, a quo ova fieri coeperint, 
extrahito e cella, et nulla facta commotione 
vehementi, sensim contra splendorem Solis, vel 
candelae quispiam speculabitur, si prolificum sit 
ovum, necne. Nam si fibrarum aliquot, 
cruentumque discurrere videtur, prolificum est, 
si contra perspicuum erit, ceu infoecundum 
reijeiendum: irriti loco substituatur aliud. 
Foecunda oportet quotidie ad calorem luminis 
vertere, atque circumcirca movere, ut Gallma 
solet. Nee verendum nobis ne corrumpantur 
ova, vel si ab aliquo sensim, et commode 
pertractentur. 

Post decimum nonum, vel vigesimum diem 
aestatis tempore, aut vigesimum qumtum, aut 
vigesimum octavum hyemis, ova manu capies, ac 
Soli obversa inspice, ubi pulli rostrum steterit, ibi 
crustam rumpito, et per ovi foramen manibus 
rostellum capiendo pulli caput foras extrahe, ac 
suo loco repone. Nam ex se ipso foras 
progreditur, et ovo egressum in mferion cellula, 
ut diximus, pone, sed a pavimento lucerna 
aliquantulum absit, ne pulli lucis splendore 
allecti, lumen rostellis feriant, et comburantur. At 
si quae diximus diligenter operatus fueris, ex 
trecentis ovis vix decern, aut viginti perdes. 
Hactenus itaque Io. Bap. Porta. 



Petrus Crescentiensis 547 denique scribit, in 
quadam regione homines reperiri, qui furnos ita 



Let the place in which this vessel stands be lukewarm 
and solitary. Eggs should not be placed in the lower 
part where the lighted lantern is, because it does not 
have a heat suitable for hatching eggs. But as soon as 
the chicks hatch out from eggs and are still moist they 
must be shut up here, so that with the tepid heat of 
the flame they dry up their moisture, checking 
carefully twice or thrice each day to find out whether 
the heat is low, lukewarm, or intense. You can find 
out that as follows: take an egg from a compartment 
and placing it on an eye you will realize in the best 
way. For if it troubles you, the heat is intense: if it 
does not give any feelings, the heat is low. Intense 
heat bakes the eggs, low heat makes them worthless. 
Because of this you will make the heat even by the 
lantern, raising or lowering the fire. 

After the fourth day since eggs begun to develop 
draw out them from the compartment and without 
any violent motion someone will examine them little 
by little against the shining light of the sun or of a 
candle to see whether the egg is fertile or not. For if 
some of the bloody fibers are seen to move it is 
fertile, but if the egg is limpid, or infertile, it must be 
discarded: another egg should take place of the 
infertile one. Daily the fertile eggs ought to be turned 
towards the heat of the lantern and ought to be 
turned over, as usually the hen does. And there is no 
need to fear the eggs will become corrupt, especially if 
they are handled gently and suitably by someone. 

After the nineteenth or twentieth day in summer, or 
the twenty-fifth or twenty-eighth in winter, take the 
eggs in your hand and inspect them, turning them to 
the sun, and where the chick's beak is located, here 
break the shell, and seizing with hands the little beak 
through the hole in the egg pull out the head of the 
chick, and then put the egg back in its place. For the 
chick comes out by himself, and, after he came out 
from the egg, place him, as already I said, in the lower 
cell, but the lantern must be a little bit raised from the 
floor so that the chicks may not strike the lantern with 
their little beaks, attracted by the brightness of the 
light, and thus burn themselves. Only if you will 
carefully do what I said you will hardly lose ten or 
twenty eggs out of three hundred. Thus far then 
Giambattista Delia Porta. 

Pier de' Crescenzi* finally writes that in a certain 
region there are men who heat up ovens so 



547 Rjiralium commodorum libriXII, libro IX, capitolo LXXXVI - Delle galline - pagina 240: Ma dicesi clie in alcuna parte del mondo si 
truova huomini clie i forni in tal maniera scaldono clie il loro calore e uguale al caldo delle galline clie covono & in quel forno 
mectono penne piccole & mille uova di galline & dopo venti di nascono successivamente & esconsene fuori & lo primo parto sie 
dallo equinocio vernale innanzi cioe da mezo marzo innanzi, & quelle clie innanzi o poi nate son non sono da sopporre a galline 
veccliie clie a pollastre e a quelle che il beccho ne ungliioni non siano acuti. (traduzione italiana stampata nel 1490, di proprieta della 
Army Medical Library (n° 32563) Washington DC, USA - pubblicata da http://gallica.bnf.fr) 



139 



temperate calefaciant, ut eorum calor par sit 
Gallmae incubantis, et in furno, seu {clibamo} 
<clibano> ponere {quamplurimos} 

<quamplurimas> plumas, et mille Gallinacea 
ova quae post vigmti dies nascantur, ac 
erumpant. Atque istaec de lis, quae ad huiusce 
avium [228] generis procreationem spectabant 
dicta sint. 



moderately that their heat is equal to that of an 
incubating hen, and into this oven or furnace they 
place plenty of feathers and a thousand hen eggs 
which after twenty days get birth, and hatch out. Thus 
much then about details concerning the procreation 
of this kind of birds. 



Page 228 



Antequam tamen ad reliqua me conferam, 
pauculos hosce Politiani 548 versus ceu epilogi 
loco, nempe de eisdem agentes adijciam. Ait 
autem: 

Votibus interea crebrum {singultit} <singultat> acutis 

Parturiens coniu<ri>x, quae scilicet ova subinde 

Tollit anus, signatque dies, vigilemque lucernam 

Consulit: et l^unae crescentis tempora servans 

Utprimum Gallina glocit, numero {impare} <impari> 

subdit 

Versatisque diu, solers auscultat, an intus 

Pipiat involucerpullus, tenerumque putamen 

Pertuderit molli rostro, {atque} <adque> emmpere tentet. 

EDUCATIO. VICTUS. 

Quamvis nulla non mulier Gallmaceum genus 
sciat educare: sunt tamen nonnulla praecepta a 
diligentissimis antiquis Geoponicis praescnpta, 
quae illas non tantum, sed forte eruditos etiam 
latent. Qui itaque fructum ex his avibus 
percipere volet, fidum in pnmis aliquem eligat 
oportet. Nisi enim, qui curam habet Gallmarum, 
fidem domino servet, nullus ornithoms quaestus 
vincet impensas. Eiusmodi altor, qui nempe in 
Gallinanum scandit, et ova colligit, et quae 
incubantur, manibus versat, Gallmarius curator, 
vel custos recte dicetur. 

Cum vero pulli maiorem quam adultiores curam 
requirant, itaque de his prius dicemus: qui 549 iam 
exclusi singulis <mdis> Gallmarum statim 
subtrahendi sunt, subijciendique {alii} <aliae>, 
quae {paucioribus mcubat} <paucos habet>, 
sed et hums rursus quae fovet, ova vel nondum 
concreta, et formata, aliis quarum ova eiusdem 
temporis sunt, supponi debent, ut una cum lllis 



But before devoting myself to remaining items, I shall 
add as epilogue these few verses of Poliziano*, dealing 
of course with the same subject: For he says: 
The partner, while is laying the egg, often sobs with shap 
sounds, and of course straight after the old woman takes up 
those eggs and marks the date, and watches the ever-lighted 
lantern: and, observing the periods of the growing moon, as soon 
as a hen clucks she sets an uneven number of eggs under the 
hen, and after she handled them slowly, skillfully listens if 
inside the flightless chick is peeping and has broken the tender 
shell with its soft beak, and if is trying to come out. 



BREEDING - FEEDING 

Although every woman knows how to raise the 
chickens, there are nevertheless some precepts fixed 
by the very careful ancient geoponics* which are 
unknown not only to women but perhaps also to 
people learned in these matters. He who wishes to 
gain profit from these birds should first choose 
someone he can trust. For unless the person who 
takes care of the hens keeps faith with his master no 
profit from poultry house will overcome the 
expenses. A breeder of this sort, who of course 
climbs up a hen house, collects the eggs, and turns 
them when in incubation, will rightly be called the 
caretaker or the guardian of hens' house. 

Since the chicks require more care than more adult 
subjects, therefore I shall speak of them first. The 
chicks already hatched must be immediately 
withdrawn from each nest of the hens and must be 
placed under another hen who has less chicks; but 
conversely the eggs warmed by this hen which are not 
yet developed and formed ought to be placed under 
other hens whose eggs are of the same period, so that 



548 Rustiats, composto da Poliziano nel 1483-84. 

549 Inizia una ennesima bagarre di rielaborazione da parte di Aldrovandi dell'equivalente testo di Varrone citato anche da Gessner, 
con omissioni tali da renderlo incomprensibile. — Varrone Rerum rusticarum 111,9,13: Excusos pullos subducendum ex singulis nidis 
et subiciendum ei quae habeat paucos; ab eaque, si reliqua sint ova pauciora, tollenda et subicienda aliis, quae nondum excuderunt 
et minus habent triginta pullos. Hoc enim gregem maiorem non faciendum. - Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 
429-430: Pullorum recens exclusorum cura. Excus{s}os pullos subducendum ex singulis nidis, et subijciendum ei, quae habeat 
paucos. Ab eaque si reliqua sint ova pauciora, tollenda, et subijcienda aliis, [430] quae nondum excuderint, et minus habent triginta 
pullos. Hoc enim gregem maiorem non faciendum, Varro. 



140 



calefacta ammentur. Columella 550 ea, qua 
excluduntur die, singulos tollere prohibet, sed 
una die in cubili sinere mbet cum matre, et aqua 
ciboque abstinere, donee caeteri excludantur, et 
postera die, cum iam grex fuerit effoetus, hoc 
modo deponere: Cribro vitiario 551 , vel etiam 
loliario, quod iam fuerit in usu, pullos superpom, 
deinde pulegii surculis fumigari, quoniam ea res, 
pituitam quae celernme teneros interficit, 
prohibere videatur. Posthac caveae mxta eundem 
cum matre mcludendi sunt, et farre hordaceo 
cum <aqua> mcocto, vel adoreo farre vino 
resperso modice alendi. Nam maxime cruditas 
vitanda est, et {obhoc} <ob hoc> tertia die 
cavea cum matre retinendi sunt, priusque quam 
emittantur, ad recentem cibum smguli tentandi, 
ne quid habeant in gutture, nam si vacua non est 
mgluvies, cruditatem significat; abstinenque 
debent, donee concoquant. Dum adhuc teneri 
sunt, non est permittendum longius evagan, sed 
circa caveam continendi sunt, et farina hordacea 
pascendi, donee iam robustiores evaserint. 



Varro 552 quindecim pnmis diebus mane subiecto 
pulvere, ne scilicet tenellis rostris noceat terra 
dura exhibet polentam, cum nasturtn semme, et 
aquam prohibet, ne turn deinde in eorum 
corpore turgescat. {Dydimus} <Didymus 553 > 



warmed together they can be vivified. Columella* 
forbids us to remove chicks on the day on which they 
are hatched, but prescribes to leave them one day in 
the nest with the mother, and that they must to 
abstain from water and food, until the rest are 
hatched. And on next day when the flock has been 
hatched, to arrange them in this way: the chicks must 
be placed upon a vetch* or darnel* sieve which has 
already been used and then fumigate them with sprigs 
of pennyroyal - Mentha pulegium*, since this seems to 
prevent the pip* which kills the very young birds very 
swiftly. Subsequently they must be shut up in a 
hencoop with the mother nearby the summer savory 
itself and given a moderately large feeding of barley* 
flour boiled in water or of wheat* flour sprinkled with 
wine. For indigestion must be particularly avoided. 
Thus until third day the chicks should be kept in the 
hencoop with the mother and before they are sent out 
for fresh food, each should be touched to see if they 
have anything in their crops; for if their ingluvies is 
not empty this indicates digestive disorders and they 
should be kept away from food until they conclude 
the digestion. While they are quite young they should 
not be allowed to stray far but be kept around the 
hencoop and fed with barley flour until they become 
stronger. 

In the first fifteen days in the morning, with dust laid 
down so that they not damage their tender beaks on 
the hard earth, Varro* offers them barley polenta to 
eat with nasturtium* seed and keeps them from water 
so that later the polenta will not swell inside of their 



550 De re rustica VIII, 5, 15-18: Pullos autem non oportet singulos, ut quisque natus sit, tollere, sed uno die in cubili sinere cum matre 
et aqua ciboque abstinere, dum omnes excudantur. Postero die, cum grex fuerit effectus, hoc modo deponatur: [16] cribro viciario 
vel etiam loliario, qui iam fuerit in usu, pulli superponantur, deinde pulei surculis fumigentur. Ea res videatur prohibere pituitam, 
quae celerrime teneros interficit. [17] Post hoc cavea cum matre cludendi sunt, et farre hordeaceo cum aqua incocto vel adoreo farre 
vino resperso modice alendi. Nam maxime cruditas vitanda est. Et ob hoc iam tertia die cavea cum matre continendi sunt, priusque 
quam emittantur ad recentem cibum, singuli temptandi ne quid hesterni habeant in gutture. Nam nisi vacua est ingluvies, cruditatem 
significat, abstinerique debent dum concoquant. [18] Longius autem non est permittendum teneris evagari, sed circa caveam 
continendi sunt et farina hordeacea pascendi, dum corroborentur; cavendumque ne a serpentibus adflentur, quarum odor tarn 
pestilens est ut interimat universos. Id vitatur saepius incenso cornu cervino vel galbano vel muliebri capillo, quorum omnium fere 
nidoribus praedicta pestis summovetur. 

551 Anche se si tratta di grafia medievale-umanistica, la stessa imprecisione - vitiario invece di viciario - viene riportata da Conrad 
Gessner in Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 430: Cribro vitiario, vel etiam loliario, qui (quod) iam fuerit in usu, pulli 
superponantur: deinde pulegii surculis fumigentur. Ea res videtur prohibere pituitam, quae celerrime teneros interficit. 

552 ]lj, rum rusticarum 111,9,13: Obiciendum pullis diebus XV primis mane subiecto pulvere, ne rostris noceat terra dura, polentam 
mixtam cum nasturtii semine et aqua aliquanto ante factam intritam, ne turn denique in eorum corpore turgescat; aqua 
prohib endum. 

553 Didimo di Alessandria, vissuto presumibilmente nel sec. VI dC, la cui opera - Ilepl yscopyvct^ SICAOyou - servi come fonte alia 
Geoponica die ci e stata tramandata, per esempio, dal codice marciano 524 (della Biblioteca Marciana o biblioteca nazionale di 
Venezia), sotto il nome di Cassiano Basso (in realta una compilazione bizantina del sec. X, realizzata per iniziativa dell'imperatore 
Costantino VII Porfirogenito*). La prima edizione moderna, con traduzione latina e commento, si deve a I.N.Niclas, 1781. § 
L'aggettivo greco didymos significa duplice, doppio, nonche gemello. II plurale sostantivato indica non solo due fratelli gemelli, ma 
anche i testicoli. Infatti l'epididimo e quella formazione allungata situata sulla parte postero-superiore del testicolo che costituisce la 
porzione iniziale delle vie spermatiche, per poi continuarsi nel condotto deferente. 



141 



porri 554 folia tenerrima cum caseo musteo 
contusa lllis exhibet. Hordeum vero exactis 
duobus (sex ut habet codex Graecus, sed 
interpres mendum 555 suspicatur) mensibus 
offerri mbet. Democritus vermes laudat ex 
stercore asmino, vel {bovino} <equmo> 556 
genitos: quare id in capacia vasa colligi, inijcique 
vult. Nam decern diebus exactis nascuntur 
pullorum nutricationi percommodi. Sunt qui, ut 
multum, et cito crescant, testas, e quibus 
emerserunt, tunica interiore dempta, contritas, 
cum sale, et ovo cocto duro immisceant, et pullis 
pnmi alimenti loco apponant. Verum nostrae 
mulieres tanta diligentia non utuntur, et simul 
atque omnes exclusi sunt, mox vel saltern post 
biduum simul cum matre evagan sinunt, 
obviumque quidvis exhibent. Audio tamen apud 
Belgas pnmis octo, aut decern diebus caveae 
matrem includi, ne pulli longius abeant, et simul 
cum ilia cibum sub cavea capiant, habereque 
ligneum quoddam vas vix palmum altum, in quo 
multa, plerunque vero duodecim cava sunt, et in 
his aquam pro potu imponi, ne si in ea mcidant 
pulli submergantur. 



Quot vero pullos una Gallma educare debeat, 
cuivis notum est, dum quaeque suos tantum 
convocet. Quod si autem inter mcubantes aliae 
plura alns mcubent, pulli aliquot ei subijci 
poterunt, quae pauciores habet: ldque maxime 
faciendum, dum quae futura erat nutrix, nota est 
non bene educare. Columella 557 id omnino 
faciendum esse monet, dum mater suos, et 
alienos propter similitudinem dignoscere non 



bodies. Didymus - a geoponic - offers them very 
tender leaves of leek* crushed with fresh cheese. He 
says barley should be given them when two months 
have passed (the Greek manuscript has six, but the 
translator suspects a mistake). Bolos of Mendes* 
praises worms born from donkey or horse dung: 
therefore he prescribes it should be collected and 
thrown into large vessels. For when ten days have 
passed worms are born very suitable for feeding the 
chicks. There are people who, so that they may grow 
large and quickly, in place of their first food give the 
chicks the shells from which they emerged, with the 
inner tunic removed, ground up and mixed with salt 
and hard boiled egg. To tell the truth our women do 
not employ such great diligence and as soon as all 
chicks are hatched, immediately or at least two days 
after, allow them to wander with their mother and 
offer them whatever food. I hear that among 
Belgians, however, the chicks are kept in a coop with 
their mother for the first eight or ten days lest the 
chicks wander afar, and along with her they receive 
the food under the coop. And they also have a certain 
wooden vessel scarcely a palm high in which there are 
many holes, mostly twelve; they put drinking water in 
these holes, so that if chicks fall inside they don't 
drown. 

But how many chicks one hen can raise is known to 
anyone, as long as each hen calls together only her 
own. But if among incubating hens some sit on more 
eggs than others, some chicks may be placed under 
the hen which has fewer; this should be done 
particularly when the hen that is to be the future 
nurse is known to be a poor mother. Columella 
advises that this should be done by all means while 
the mother cannot as yet distinguish between her own 



554 Vedi il lessico alia voce Aglio e Cipolla*. - Dell'impiego del porro di Taranto ne parla Columella quando detta le regole 
alimentari dei pulcini di pavone. II porro di Taranto e il Porrum sectivum di De re rustica XI 3.30 (cfr. anche X 371), di cui si 
mangiavano solo le foglie, e veniva indicato per le affezioni polmonari, per la gola e per la tosse: Nerone ne faceva una cura 
regolare, all'olio, per la sua voce (cfr. Plinio, XIX 108). Ecco il testo di Columella relativo ai pulcini di pavone, De re rustica 
VIII,11,14: Sed cum erunt editi pulli, similiter ut gallinacei primo die non moveantur, postero deinde cum educatrice transferantur 
in caveam. Primisque diebus alantur hordeaceo farre vino resperso, nee minus ex quolibet frumento cocta pulticula et refrigerata. 
Post paucos deinde dies huic cibo adiciendum erit concisum porrum Tarentinum et caseus mollis vehementer expressus. nam 
serum nocere pullis manifestum est. 

555 II codice greco di Didimo potrebbe essere stato esatto, cioe indicare 6 mesi e non 2. Infatti Columella a proposito dei pulcini di 
pavone, che vanno nutriti come quelli di gallina, dice clie l'orzo lo si da loro al sesto mese quando si smette di nutrirli con cavallette 
(De re rustica VIII,11,15): Lucustae quoque pedibus ademptis utiles cibandis pullis habentur. Atque his pasci debent usque ad sextum 
mensem, postmodum satis est hordeum de manu praebere. 

556 Sia la traduzione dei Geoponica di Andres de Laguna (1541) che quella di Janus Cornarius (1543) riportano stereo d'asino o di 
cavallo: asininum praeterea, sive equinum stercus (Laguna), asininum sive equinum stercus (Cornarius). Se non bastasse, il testo 
greco e equivalente: OVSlCtV rj nnteiav KOTtpov (Geoponica sive Cassiani Bassi Scholastici De Re Rustica Eclqgae - recensuit Henricus 
Beckh - Teubner — Stoccarda e Lipsia — 1994). E pertanto d'obbligo emendare questo ennesimo svarione di Aldrovandi. 

557 Y) e re rus fi ca VIII,5,7: Pulli autem duarum aut trium avium excusi, dum adhuc teneri sunt, ad unam quae est melior nutrix 
transferri debent, sed primo quoque die, dum mater suos et alienos propter similitudinem dinoscere non potest. Verumtamen 
servari oportet modum, neque enim debet maior esse quam triginta capitum. Negant enim hoc ampliorem gregem posse ab una 
nutriri. 



142 



potest, nempe prima die. Cavendum item ne 
plures quam triginta uni nutrici committantur. 
Negant enim omnes fere Geoponici hoc numero 
ampliorem gregem posse ab una nutnn. Sin 
autem Gallmamm aliqua suos deserat, timeasque 
ne ita [229] deserti mtereant, cura, ut Gallus, vel 
Capus nutncis munere fungatur. Quod 
quomodo praestare possis, superion capite 558 ex 
Io. Baptista Porta ostendi. 



chicks and those of other hens, that is, on the first 
day. Care should be taken not to commit more than 
thirty chicks to one nurse. For almost all geoponics 
affirm than a larger flock than this number cannot be 
raised by one nurse. But if some one of the hens 
deserts her chicks and you may fear lest so deserted 
they perish, see to it that a rooster or a capon takes on 
the duty of nurse. I have shown how you can 
accomplish this in the chapter above from 
Giambattista Delia Porta*. 



Page 229 



Gallmam pullos deserere volentem agnosces inde, 
quod non lam amplius hispida sit, nee alas 
demittat, glocire desinat, et cum iis evagan nolit. 
Atque haec de pullorum cura dicta sint. 

lam de parentum educatione aliquid dicendum 
superest. Eae si mcubent, bis, mane scilicet et 
vespen cibus offerendus est. Vagantium vero non 
alius cultus est, quam clausarum, nisi quod hae non 
emittantur, sed intra ornithonem ter die maiori 
mensura pascantur. Nam singulis capitibus, 
Columella 559 teste, quaterni cyathi 560 diurna cibana 
sunt, cum term, vel bini vagis praebeantur. Quid 
vero exhibendum paulo post dicemus. 



Locus, quo conversantur, Gallinanum dicitur: 
Gyb. Longolius officmam cohortalem appellari ait, 
quod, ut in nostns officims cuncta parantur, quae 
in usum humanum veniunt, ita istic ova, et pulli, 
quae in cibum. Aviana vero nommantur, ubi 
cicures atque omnium avium genera separata 
farciuntur. Haec aviana 6pvi6o(3oaKeia Varroni 
dicuntur. Unde forte haud recte Calepinus 
opviBoova Gallinanum mterpretatur. Nam 
praeterquam quod ea vox, teste Varrone 561 , in villa 



You will recognize a hen who wishes to desert her 
chicks by the fact that by now she is no longer 
ruffled nor lets down her wings, ceases to cluck, and 
does not wish to wander with them. Let this be said 
about the care of chicks. 

Now something remains to be said about the care 
of their parents. If they are incubating they should 
be fed twice a day, in the morning and evening. But 
the care of wandering hens is no different from that 
of hens shut up except that the latter are not let out 
but are fed three times a day in larger measure 
inside the pen. To each hen, according to 
Columella*, four cyathi - nearly 200 ml - of food 
should be given daily while three or two are given to 
wandering hens. What food is to be given I shall 
explain shortly after. 

The place where they live together is called poultry 
house: Gisbert Longolius* says it is called barnyard 
workshop given that, as in our workshops are 
provided all those things for human use, so there 
are provided eggs and chicks, which become food. 
But are called aviaries those where tame fowls and 
distinct genera of all birds are fattened. These 
aviaries are called ornithoboskeia in Varro*. Hence 
perhaps wrongly Ambrogio Calepmo* translates 
ornithona as gallinanum - poultry house. For besides 



558 A pagina 226. 

559 jj e re rus fj ca VIII,4,5: Gallina post primam emitti et ante horam diei undecimam claudi debet, cuius vagae cultus hie quern 
diximus erit. Nee tamen alius clausae, nisi quod ea non emittetur, sed intra ornithonem ter die pascitur maiore mensura. Nam 
singulis capitibus quaterni cyathi diurna cibaria sunt, cum vagis [terni, vel] bini praebeantur. 

560 Ciato: dal greco kyathos. 1) Ciotola, prowista di lungo manico, in uso nell'antichita tra la fine del sec. VI e la meta del V aC per 
travasare il vino dal cratere nelle brocche. 2) Antica unita di misura di capacita corrispondente a V2 decilitro scarso. Un decilitro = 
100 ml. Quattro ciati corrispondono a circa 200 ml. Orbene, 200 ml di granaglie corrispondono in media a 150 grammi. Infatti 200 
ml di granaverde di riso = 150 gr, di mais intero = 145 gr, di mais macinato medio insieme alia sua farina = 140 gr. La farina di 
frumento tipo 00 ha un peso specifico basso: 200 ml pesano solo 100 grammi. - Vedi anche: Pesi e misure*. 

561 Rerum rusticarum 111,3,1: Eius disciplinae genera sunt tria: ornithones, leporaria, piscinae. Nunc ornithones dico omnium alitum, 
quae intra parietes villae solent pasci. 111,3,7: Contra nunc aviaria sunt nomine mutato, quod vocantur ornithones, quae palatum 
suave domini paravit, ut tecta maiora habeant, quam turn habebant totas villas, in quibus stabulentur turdi ac pavones. 111,4,2-3: [2] 
Merula, Duo genera sunt, inquit, ornithonis: unum delectationis causa, ut Varro hie fecit noster sub Casino, quod amatores invenit 
multos; alterum fructus causa, quo genere macellarii et in urbe quidam habent loca clausa et rure, maxime conducta in Sabinis, quod 
ibi propter agri naturam frequentes apparent turdi. [3] Ex iis tertii generis voluit esse Lucullus coniunctum aviarium, quod fecit in 
Tusculano, ut in eodem tecto ornithonis inclusum triclinium haberet, ubi delicate cenitaret et alios videret in mazonomo positos 



143 



pastionis genus, quale pariter Ttepiatepoovaq 562 
dicunt avianum proprie sigmficat: etsi interim 
minime negarim, et pro gallinario accipi. Nam 
Graeci cum omnem avem, ut diximus 563 , turn 
Galium Gallmamve per excellentiam opviv et 
opviBoc nommant. Grapaldus Ttetaupov 
interpretatur ex Polluce caveam, in qua sese cortis 
alites cubitum lturae recipiunt. Aristophanes 564 , 
inquit Pollux 565 , Ttetaupov, nommat ov rove, 
evoiicicaouc; opviBaq evicaBeijSeiv aup.[3e(3r|Ke. 
Verum ut Ornithol. conijeit, non Gallmanum 
totum Ttetaupov nomman potest, sed tabula, vel 
asser, qui Varino dicitur aavic,, quasi TteteuSov 
Ttapa To ei;8eiv ev oartcp, xa Tteteivd. 



Sunt vero nostra gallinana longe diversa ab lllis, 
quae Columella 566 , Varroque commendant. Nostra 
enim admodum exigua sunt, et vix quandoque 
gregem capientia, cum maximo saepe ems 
detnmento, nam cum bona pars saepe noctu 



this word, according to Varro, in farmhouse 
properly means aviary, as it is that kind of raising 
which likewise they call peristeronas: although I 
should not in the least meanwhile affirm that it is 
not meant for hen house. In fact Greeks, as I said, 
call both whatever bird and par excellence rooster 
or hen ornin and ornitha. Francesco Mario Grapaldi*, 
from Julius Pollux*, translates petauron - poultry pen 
stick, planking - as poultry pen, into which barnyard 
fowls withdraw when are about to go to sleep. Julius 
Pollux says that Aristophanes* calls petauron the 
place where domestic birds go to sleep - ou toils 
enoikidious ornithas enkatheudein symbebeke. To tell the 
truth, as the Ornithologist conjectures, not the 
whole hen pen can be called petauron, but a plank or 
a beam which by Varinus is called sanis - plank, as to 
say that the fowl jumped up on it to sleep - peteudon 
para to eudein en auto t tapeteind. 

But our hen pens are far different from those which 
Columella and Varro recommend. For ours are 
quite small and sometimes scarcely hold the flock, 
often with great damage of it since a large part is 
often shut out at night and is left as prey to harmful 



coctos, alios volitare circum fenestras captos. Quod inutile invenerunt. Nam non tantum in eo oculos delectant intra fenestras aves 
volitantes, quantum offendit quod alienus odor opplet nares. 

562 Si tratta delle colombaie, come specifica Varrone in Kerum rusticarum 111,7,2: Alterum genus columbarum est clementius, quod 
cibo domestico contentum intra limina ianuae solet pasci. Hoc genus maxime est colore albo, illud alterum agreste sine albo, vario. 
Ex iis duabus stirpibus fit miscellum tertium genus fructus causa, atque incedunt in locum unum, quod alii vocant peristerona, alii 
peristerotrophion, in quo uno saepe vel quinque milia sunt inclusae. 

563 A paginal 8 9. 

564 Fragment 839. (Lind, 1963) 

565 In Onomastikon 10,156. 

566 Y) e re rus fi ca VIII,3,l-7: [1] Gallinaria constitui debent parte villae quae hibernum spectat orientem. Iuncta sint ea furno vel 
culinae, ut ad avem perveniat fumus, qui est huic generi praecipue salutaris. Totius autem officinae, id est ornithonis, tres continuae 
exstruuntur cellae, quarum, sicuti dixi, perpetua frons orientem sit obversa. [2] In ea deinde fronte exiguus detur unus omnino 
aditus mediae cellae, quae ips<a>, e tribus minima, esse debet in altitudinem et quoqueversus pedes septem. In ea singuli dextro 
laevoque pariete aditus ad utramque cellam faciundi sunt, iuncti parieti qui est intrantibus adversus. Huic autem focus applicetur 
tarn longus, ut nee inpediat praedictos aditus et ab eo fumus perveniat in utramque cellam; eaeque longitudinis et altitudinis 
duodenos pedes habeant, nee plus latitudinis quam media. [3] Sublimitas dividatur tabulatis, quae super se quaternos et infra 
septenos liberos pedes habeant, quoniam ipsa singulos occupant. Utraque tabulata gallinis servire debent, et ea parvis ab oriente 
singulis inluminari fenestellis, quae et ipsae matutinum exitum praebeant avibus ad cohortem, nee minus vespertinum introitum. 
Sed curandum erit ut semper noctibus claudantur, quo tutius aves maneant. [4] Infra tabulata maiores fenestellae aperiantur, et eae 
clatris muniantur, ne possint noxia inrepere animalia, sic tamen ut inlustria sint loca, quo commodius habitet aviarius, qui subinde 
debet speculari aut incubantis aut parturientis fetas. Nam etiam in his ipsis locis ita crassos parietes aedificare convenit, ut excisa per 
ordinem gallinarum cubilia recipiant, in quibus aut ova edantur aut excludantur pulli. Hoc enim et salubrius et elegantius est quam 
illud quod quidam faciunt, ut palis in parietis vehementer actis vimineos qualos superponant. [5] Sive autem parietibus ita ut 
diximus cavatis aut qualis vimineis praeponenda erunt vestibula, per quae matrices ad cubilia vel pariendi vel incubandi causa 
perveniant. Neque enim debent ipsis nidis involare, ne dum adsiliunt pedibus ova confringant. [6] Ascensus deinde avibus ad 
tabulata per utramque cellam datur, iunctis parieti modicis asserculis, qui paulum formatis gradibus asperantur, ne sint advolantibus 
lubrici. Sed ab cohorte forinsecus praedictis fenestellis scandulae similiter iniungantur, quibus inrepant aves ad requiem nocturnam. 
Maxime autem curabimus ut et haec aviaria et cetera, de quibus mox dicturi sumus, intrinsecus et extrinsecus poliantur opere 
tectorio, ne quae ad aves feles habeant aut coluber adcessum, turn et aeque noxiae prohibeantur pestes. [7] Tabulatis insistere 
dormientem avem non expedit, ne suo laedatur stercore, quod cum pedibus uncis adhaesit, podagram creat. Ea pernicies ut evitetur, 
perticae dolantur in quadrum, ne teres levitas earum supersilientem volucrem non recipiat conquadratae deinde foratis duobus 
adversis parietibus induuntur, ita ut a tabulato pedalis altitudinis et inter se bipedali latitudinis spatio distent. — Non si emenda con 
<quo commodius habitet aviarius, qui subinde debet speculari aut incubantis aut parturientis fetas> in quanto Aldrovandi ha 
dedotto il testo da Conrad Gessner FListoria animalium III (1555) pagina 425, un testo che non corrisponde a quello di Columella che 
ci viene offerto nel XX secolo. 



144 



excludatur, animalium noxiorum reliquuntur 
furumque rapinis. Non mirum itaque si tanta 
gallinariorum cura veteres mcessent, ut ilia nobis 
exacte depinxennt. Iubent itaque, ut, ea parte 
villae, quae orientem spectat, constituantur, mncta 
sint furno, vel Culinae, ut ad aves perveniat fumus, 
qui huic generi praecipue salutaris est, adeo ut 
Palladius 567 sufficere dixerit, ut fumo<,> pulvere, 
et cmere utantur. Unde etiamnum nostro aevo 
super furno, vel prope cammum saltern 
aedificantur. 

Totius autem officinae, inquit Columella, tres 
continuae extruuntur cellae, (sed forte pro plurimo 
gregis numero, nam Varro pro ducentis duas 
caveas coniunctas constituendas monet) quarum 
perpetua frons orienti sit obversa. In ea deinde 
fronte exiguus detur omnino aditus mediae cellae, 
quae ipsa tribus minima esse debet in altitudinem, 
et quoque versus pedes septem: in ea singuli 
dext<e>ro, laevoque panete aditus ad utramque 
cellam faciendi sunt, iuncti paneti, qui est 
intrantibus adversus. Huic autem focus applicetur 
tarn longus, ut nee impediat praedictos aditus, et 
ab eo fumus perveniat ad utramque cellam, eaeque 
longitudims, et altitudims duodenos pedes 
habeant, nee plus latitudinis quam media<:> 
sublimitas{:} divida{n}tur tabulatis quae supra se 
quaternos, et infra septenos liberos pedes habeant, 
quoniam ipsa smgulos occupant. Utraque tabulata 
Gallinis servire debent, et ea parvis ab onente 
singulis illumman fenestellis, quae et ipsae 
matutinum praebeant exitum avibus ad cohortem, 
nee minus {ad} vespertinum introitum, sed 
curandum ent, ut semper noctibus claudantur, quo 
tutius aves maneant. Intra tabulata maiores 
fenestrae apenantur, et eae clatns mumantur, ne 
possint noxia irrepere animalia. Sic tamen ut 
illustria sint loca, quo commodius habitent, 
aviariusque submde debet speculari aut incubantis, 
aut partunentis foetus. 



Nam etiam in us locis ita crassos parietes aedificare 
convenit, ut excisa per ordmem, Gallmarum 
cubilia recipiant: in quibus aut ova edantur, aut 
excludantur pulli. Hoc enim et salubrius, et 
elegantius est, quam illud quod <quidam> faciunt, 
ut palis in parietes vehementer actis, vimineos 
qualos super imponant. {Sic} <Sive> autem 
parietibus, ita, ut diximus<,> cavatis, aut qualis 
vimmeis praeponenda erunt vestibula, per quae 



animals and thieves. It is no wonder if ancients took 
such care of their hen houses, so much as they 
described them accurately for us. Therefore they 
urge that they should be built in that part of 
farmhouse facing east, joined with wood-burning 
oven or kitchen so that the smoke may reach the 
birds, since it is especially healthful for this genus, 
so that it is sufficient for them, according to 
Palladius*, to use smoke, dust and cinders. Hence 
still in our age hen pens are built upon an oven or at 
least near a fireplace. 

Well, Columella says three adjacent rooms are built 
to form the entire workshop (but perhaps for a very 
big number of subjects, since Varro recommends 
two pens joined together be built for two hundred 
birds) and the whole front of them should face east. 
Then in this front a very small entrance should be 
made for the middle cell, which should be the 
smallest of the three cells and whose height and 
each other side must be of seven feet. Inside this 
cell in right and left partition wall must be made a 
single entrance adjacent the wall facing those who 
enter the central cell. To this wall a hearth must be 
attached of a length that will not block the aforesaid 
entrances and so that from it the smoke may reach 
each of the other two cells, which should be twelve 
feet long and high and have no more width than the 
middle cell. The height should be divided by planks 
which must keep clear four feet above and seven 
below since the planks take up a foot each. Both 
planks should serve the hens and furthermore must 
be lighted by small windows on east side which may 
also offer an exit for the birds into the poultry yard 
in the morning as well as an entrance in the evening; 
but care should be taken to keep them always closed 
at night so that the birds may remain with greater 
security. Below the pinks larger windows should be 
opened up and protected with gratings so that 
harmful animals may not creep in. The rooms 
should be kept well lighted in order that they can 
stay rather well, and the poultry keeper rather often 
must keep an eye on incubating or hatching hen. 

For also in these rooms it is advisable to made walls 
so thick that they may hold the hollow nests of the 
hens in a row, in which the hens may lay eggs or 
hatch chicks. For this solution is both more healthy 
and neat than what some people do, that is, when 
they drive pegs into the walls and place wicker 
baskets on them. And in front of the spaces 
hollowed out in the walls so as I said, or of the 
wicker baskets, little entrances must be placed 



567 Opus agriculturae I, XXVII De gallinis, 1: Gallinas educare nulla mulier nescit, quae modo videtur industria. Hoc de his praecepisse 
sufficiat, ut furno, pulvere utantur et cinere. 



145 



matrices ad cubilia vel pariendi, vel mcubandi 
causa perveniunt. Neque enim debent ipsis nidis 
involare, ne dum assiliunt, pedibus ova 
confnngant, as census deinde avibus ad tabulata 
per utramque <cellam> datur iunctis paneti 
modicis asserculis, qui paulum formatis gradibus 
asperantur, ne smt advolantibus lubrici. Sed ab 
{hac} cohorte fori{e}nsecus praedictis fenestellis 
scandulae similiter m<i>ungantur, quibus irrepant 
aves ad requiem nocturnam. Maxime autem 
curabimus ut et haec aviaria, et caetera, de quibus 
mox dicturi sumus mtrinsecus, et extnnsecus 
poliantur opere tectono, ne ad aves feles 
habeant{;} aut coluber accessum, et aeque noxiae 
prohibeantur pestes. 



Tabulatis insistere dormientem avem non expedit, 
ne suo laedatur stercore, quod cum pedibus uncis 
adhaesit, podagram creat. Ea pernicies ut evitetur, 
perticae dolantur in quadrum, ne teres laevitas 
earum supersilientem volucrem non recipiat: 
conquadratae [230] deinde foratis duobus adversis 
parietibus induuntur, ita ut a tabulato pedalis 
altitudinis, et inter se bipedalis latitudinis spatio 
distent. 



through which the females can pass to their nests 
for either laying eggs or incubating them. For they 
must not fly into the nests themselves, so that when 
jumping on them lest they break the eggs with their 
feet. Furthermore through both rooms an ascent for 
the birds to the planks is provided by small pegs 
fixed to the wall; these should be roughened a little 
with grooves formed on them so that they are not 
slippery when the birds fly on them. But outside, on 
the barnyard's side, similarly little ladders should be 
fixed to the aforesaid little windows, on which the 
birds may creep to their nightly rest. But great care 
should be taken that both these aviaries, and the 
others about which I shall soon be speaking, be 
kept polished with plaster both inside and outside 
so that the beech marten* or a snake may have no 
access to the birds and that likewise harmful 
diseases may be excluded. 

It is unsuitable that a sleeping bird rests on the 
planks in order to not be damaged by its own dung, 
because once this adhered to its hooked feet creates 
podagra* - bumblefoot. To avoid this injury the 
perches should be cut square lest their rounded 
smoothness fails to give the bird a purchase on 
them when flying up. When squared, the perch 
poles should be inserted into holes in two walls 
facing each other so that they rise a foot above the 
plank and two feet distant each other. 



Page 230 



Haec ent cohortalis officinae dispositio, quam 
Columellae acceptam ferre debemus, a qua 
nonnihil diversa est, quam ponit Varro 568 . Si 
{ducentas} <ducentos>, inquit, alere velis, locus 
septus attribuendus, in quo duae caveae coniunctae 
magnae constituendae, quae spectent ad onentem 
versus, utraeque in longitudmem circa decern 
pedes, latitudine dimidio minores, et altitudine 
paulo humiliores. Utnusque fenestrae latitudine 
{bipedali} <tripedali> 569 , et uno pede altiores, {a} 



This will be the arrangement of the barnyard 
workshop which we must recognize as due to 
Columella*, which differs somewhat from Varro's* 
suggestion. The latter says: If you wish to raise two 
hundred birds you need to assign a fenced-in place, 
in which two large adjacent rooms must be built, 
facing east, both of them around ten feet long, less 
than a half in width, and a little lower in height. The 
windows of each room should be three feet wide 
and one foot higher, made of wide weaved wickers, 



568 ]lj, rum rusticarum 111,9,6-7: [6] Nee tamen sequendum in seminio legendo Tanagricos et Melicos et Chalcidicos, qui sine dubio 
sunt pulchri et ad proeliandum inter se maxime idonei, sed ad partus sunt steriliores. Si ducentos alere velis, locus saeptus 
adtribuendus, in quo duae caveae coniunctae magnae constituendae, quae spectent ad exorientem versus, utraeque in longitudinem 
circiter decern pedum, latitudine dimidio minores, altitudine paulo humiliores: in utraque fenestra lata tripedalis, et eae pede altiores 
e viminibus factae raris, ita ut lumen praebeant multum, neque per eas quicquam ire intro possit, quae nocere solent gallinis. [7] 
Inter duas ostium sit, qua gallinarius, curator earum, ire possit. In caveis crebrae perticae traiectae sint, ut omnes sustinere possint 
gallinas. Contra singulas perticas in pariete exclusa sint cubilia earum. Ante sit, ut dixi, vestibulum saeptum, in quo diurno tempore 
esse possint atque in pulvere volutari. Praeterea sit cella grandis, in qua curator habitet, ita ut in parietibus circum omnia plena sint 
cubilia gallinarum aut exsculpta aut adficta firmiter. Motus enim, cum incubat, nocet. 

569 II conforto che la larghezza sia tripedali e non bipedali ci viene anche da Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 424: 
Si ducentas alere velis, locus septus attribuendus, in quo duae caveae coniunctae magnae constituendae, quae spectent ad 
exorientem versus, utraeque in longitudinem circiter decern pedes, latitudine dimidio minores (latitudine paulo minus, Crescenti) et 
altitudine paulo humiliores. Utriusque fenestrae latitudine tripedali, et co(uno)pede altiores, e viminibus factae raris, ita ut lumen 
praebeant multum, neque per eas quicquam ire intro possit quod nocere solet gallinis. - Ma anche Gessner ha ducentas invece di 



146 



<e> viminibus factae raris, ita ut lumen praebeant 
multum, neque per eas quicquam ire intro possit, 
quod nocere possit Gallims. Inter duas ostium sit, 
qua Gallinarius curator earum ire possit. In caveis 
crebrae perticae traiectae sint ut omnes sustinere 
possint Gallmas. Contra smgulas perticas in panete 
exculpta sint cubilia earum. Ante sit, ut dixi, 
vestibulum septum, in quo diurno tempore esse 
possint, atque in pulvere volutan. Praeterea sit 
cella grandis in qua curator habitet, ita ut in 
parietibus circum omnia posita sint cubilia 
Gallinarum aut exculpta, aut affixa firmiter, motus 
enim, cum incubant, nocet. 

Haec ille, quanvis Florentinus non plures, quam 
qumquaginta in uno aviario nutriri prohibeat, quod 
in angusto arctatae labefactentur. Quapropter 
aviarium magnum sit, necesse est. Columella 
ducenta capita unius custodis curam requirere 
etiam scnpsit, eamque sedulam, ne vel ab 
hominibus, aut insidiosis animalibus aliqua 
dinpiantur. Quod vero ad cortem attinet, ea ad 
meridiem pateat, et soli obiecta sit, quo facilius 
hyeme aliquem tepore<m> concipiat. Porticus 
furcis, asseribus, et fronde formandi, {quae} 
<qui> vel scandulis, vel si copia suppetit, tegulis, 
vel, si facilius, et sine impensa placuerit, caricibus, 
aut genistis tegendi, ut aestate calons saevitia 
temperetur, ammaliaque ceu in umbra degant. 
Columella 570 monet, ut pulvis siccus, et cinis, 
ubicunque cohortem porticus, vel tectum protegit, 
iuxta panetes reponatur, ut sit, quo aves se 
perfundant. Nam his rebus, mquit plumas, 
pennasque emundant, si modo credimus Ephesio 
{Heracleto} <Heraclito>, qui ait 571 , sues coeno, 
aves cohortales pulvere vel cinere lavari. 



Qui itaque emolumenti causa hocce avium genus 
educare volunt, aediculam qualem ex Columella, 
vel ex Varrone descnpsimus, aedificare poterunt, 
et quae sequentur, diligenter observare. Nonnulli, 
teste Leontino, {domunculos} <domunculas>, et 
nidos purgant, ipsasque aves sulphure, asphalto, 
pice {a} lustrant, sed et fern lammam, ac clavorum 
capita, atque laun surculos imponunt nidis, ut quae 



so that they may furnish much light and without 
through them anything can enter which might harm 
the hens. Place between the two rooms an opening 
through which the chicken keeper can pass, who 
takes care of the hens. In the rooms, have many 
perches crossing through so that they can support 
all the hens. In front of each perch there should be 
nesting places dug in the wall. In front of the pen let 
there be a fenced-in place where the chickens can 
walk during the day and tumble about in the dust. 
Further, let there be a large cell in which the keeper 
stays, so that in the walls all around there are all the 
nests of the hens, either dug or firmly attached, for 
movement is harmful when hens are incubating. 

Thus far Varro, although Florentinus* forbids no 
more than fifty hens should be raised in one pen 
because they would grow weak in cramped quarters. 
Therefore the hen house must be large. Columella 
also wrote that two hundred birds require the care 
of one custodian and that such a care must be 
active, so that some subjects may not be stolen by 
men or dangerous animals. As far as chickens' yard 
is concerned, it should be open southward and 
facing the sun so that it may more easily receive 
some warmth in winter. There should be built sheds 
made of forks, beams and wreaths of foliage and 
roofed with laths, or tiles if there is enough of them, 
or, if it is easier and without expense, covered with 
rushes or brooms to temper in summer the fierce 
heat and the animals can live as in the shade. 
Columella advises that dry dust and ashes be 
scattered near the walls wherever the shed or the 
roof protect the yard so that there is a place where 
the birds may take a bath. For with these things, he 
says, they clean their plumes and feathers, if we just 
believe Heraclitus of Ephesus*, who says that pigs 
wash themselves with mud and barnyard fowls with 
dust or ashes. 

Therefore those who wish to make money from 
raising this genus of birds can build a small pen 
such as I have described from Columella and Varro 
and observe carefully the following suggestions. 
According to Leontinus - a geoponic*, some people 
purify the little houses and nests, and the birds 
themselves, with sulphur*, asphalt - or bitumen*, 
pitch, but they also place a thin sheet of iron and 



570 Y) e re rus fi ca VIII,4,4: Siccus etiam pulvis et cinis, ubicumque cohortem porticus vel tectum protegit, iuxta parietem reponendus 
est, ut sit quo aves se perfundant. Nam his rebus plumam pinnasque emundant, si modo credimus Ephesio Heraclito, qui ait sues 
caeno, cohortales aves pulvere lavari. — Heracleto invece di Heraclito e tratto bellamente da Conrad Gessner Historia animalium III 
(1555) pag. 425: Siccus etiam pulvis, et cinis ubicunque cohortem porticus, vel tectum protegit, iuxta parietes reponendus est, ut sit, 
quo aves se perfundant. nam his rebus plumam, pinnasque emundant: si modo credimus Ephesio Heracleto, qui ait sues coeno, 
cohortales aves pulvere, vel cinere lavari, Columella. 

571 Eraclito di Efeso, Sulla natura, fr. 37 Diels-Kranz. 



147 



ad arcenda prodigia (textus Graecus habet 
Sioarflieiocc, tempestates) omnia magnam vim 
habere videntur. Sed eiusmodi remedia, ut diximus 
mmiam sedulitatem veterum declarant. 



Gallorum etiam ratio habenda est ut totius 
Gallinarum numeri sexta pars mares sint, sed id 
minime observatur a nostris Gallmanis, cum 
alioqui haud ab re ab antiquis Geoponicis ea 
norma tradita sit. Quoniam si plures Gallmae 
fuerint, Galium nimio coitu enervant. Si ergo forte 
evenerit, quod Galium vel noviter emens, vel dono 
acceperis, eumque in corte tua {eum} <cum> 
reliquo grege educare voluens, non temere statim, 
ac fortuito solutum dimittes. Sed curabis, si alii 
Galli ibi sint, ne ab eis fugetur. Aelianus 572 
eiuscemodi Galium recentem sponte fugitivum ad 
suos familiares, et compascales, utcunque procul 
allatus fuent, se recipere tradit, ideoque custodia 
ipsum mumendum, et vmculis occultioribus, quam 
quibus apud Homerum 573 {Vulcanus} <Mars> 
lrretitur, coercendum, ldque hunc in modum effici, 
si ei fidem adhibes, (nam revera fabulam sapit) 
mensam super qua cibum capere soles, in medium 
cortis siste, et Galium ter circa ipsam circumferto, 
atque ita cum caeteris avibus domesticis liberum 
dimittito. Sic enim tanquam vinctus nusquam 
aufugiet. Sed Gallus ad suos non revertetur, ut llle 
ait, nisi a vicinis tuis ilium emas, nam tunc propter 
veterem pellicum amorem facile domum repetit. 



Quod vero ad reliquam opviBotpocpiav, seu, ut 
Columella 574 vertit, rationem cohortalem attinet, ea 
iam in solo victu, et potu consistere videtur. Victus 
autem ratio ob duas potissimum causas lnstituitur, 
ut scilicet vel ova panant, et proli {mcubant} 
<incubent>, vel pro hommum futuro pastu 
sagmentur. Sed cum ammantia sint pamphaga, 
nihilque non devorent, absumantque naturae suae 
caliditate {adiuti} <adiuta>, adeo ut non solum 



heads of nails as well as sprigs of laurel* on the 
nests because these things seem to have great power 
in driving off bad things (the Greek text has 
diosemeias - prodigies, heavenly signs - that is, 
disasters). But remedies of this kind, as I said, 
indicate the excessive zeal of the ancients. 

We must also make allowance for the roosters, so 
that the males are a sixth of hens' number, but this 
is by no means observed by our poultry keepers, 
although this standard has been handed down not 
motiveless by ancient geoponics. Since if there are 
several hens, they wear out the rooster by too much 
copulation. Therefore if it happens that recently you 
buy or receive as a gift a rooster and wish to raise 
him in your barnyard with the rest of the flock, do 
not at once release him to run rashly and 
haphazardly. But take care that he is not driven 
away by other roosters, if there are any there. 
Aelian* reports that such a recently arrived rooster 
spontaneously runs away to his friends and feeding 
partners, from however far off he has been brought, 
and thus must be guarded and bound with chains 
more invisible than those by which Mars* - see The 
cheated on Vulcan*, according to Homer*, is snared. 
It can be done in this manner, if you have faith in 
him (for in fact his words smack of a fable): place 
the table on which you are accustomed to take your 
food in the middle of the barnyard and carry the 
rooster three times around it. Then let him run free 
with the other domestic birds. For in this manner as 
if chained he will run away nowhere. But a rooster 
does not return to his friends, as Aelian says, unless 
you buy him from your neighbors, for then, because 
of an old love for his concubines, he easily seeks his 
home again. 

As to the remaining things pertaining to chicken 
raising - ornithotraphian - or, as Columella translates, 
ratio cohortalis - the barnyard science, they seem 
finally to concern only food and drink. The method 
of feeding is determined chiefly by two purposes, 
that is, so that either they lay eggs and take care of 
offspring or they are to be fattened for human food. 
But since these animals are omnivorous and there is 
nothing they do not devour and swallow, helped by 



572 La natura degli animali 11,30. 



573 Odissea 8,274 sgg. (Francesco Maspero, 1998) The reference in Homer's Odyssey 8. 266-366, should be to Ares, not Vulcan. (Lind, 
1963) - Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 404: Alectryon quidam adolescens Marti acceptus fuit, quern Mars 
aliquando cum Venere concubiturus in domo Vulcani pro vigile secum ducebat, ut si quis appareret, Sol oriens praesertim, 
indicaret. Ille vero somno victus cum Solis ortum non indicasset, Mars a Vulcano deprehensus et irretitus est. Qui postea dimissus, 
Alectryoni iratus in avem eum mutavit una cum armis quae prius gerebat, ita ut pro galea cristam haberet. Itaque memor deinceps 
huius rei alectryon, etiam nunc ales, id tempus quo Sol prope ortum est, quo scilicet Vulcanus domum reverti solebat, cantu 
designat. Fabulam memorant Lucianus, et ex eo interpretatus Caelius Rhodiginus, et Aristophanis Scholiastes, et Eustathius in 
octavum Odysseae, et Varinus. 

574 De re rustica VIII,2,6: His enim curis et ministeriis exercetur ratio cohortalis, quam Graeci vocant ornithotrophian. 



148 



praeter omnia fere granorum genera, omnium 
animantium cum terrestrium, rum aquatilium 
carnibus oblectentur verumetiam nee humanis 
stercoribus, nee serpentibus, scorpionibus, 
eiusmodique animalibus, venenatis sibi temperent, 
quinim<m>o conficiant ac nonnunquam arenas, 
lapillosque mgluvie sua devoratos, teste 
Dioscoride 575 , dissolvant: nam cum hos in 
ventriculo aperto tantum repenre sit, (unde et 
Gallicum vulgus, ut senbit Laurentius 
Io<u>bertus 576 Gallus, earum avium ventnculum 
{pene} <pene> vocat a petris, quas patria lingua 
peiras dicunt 577 ) nunquam vero in intestinis, itaque 
non dissolvi tantum, sed confici etiam ab illis 
quispiam non inepte mdicet, quia non pnus 
descendit conclusa ventriculo materia, quam sit 
emollita, et in {chilum} <chylum> 578 conversa. 
Qumim<m>o avium genus, maxime earum, quae 
non sunt carnivorae, et seminibus pascuntur 
potissimum, ut Gallmae, ventnculi membranam 
habet densissimam, in eaque nativum calorem 
valde acrem, ut est in c<h>alybe ignito ob subiecti 
soliditatem. 



the heat of their nature, to such an extent that not 
only beside almost all kinds of grain they enjoy the 
flesh of all land and water animals, but they do not 
refrain from even human dung or serpents, 
scorpions, and poisonous creatures of this kind, and 
sometimes they even eat sand, and, according to 
Dioscorides*, they dissolve swallowed pebbles by 
their own stomachs. For since such things have 
been found only in their opened stomachs (whence 
also the French people, as the Frenchman Laurent 
Joubert* writes, call the stomach of these birds perie 
from petrae, stones, which they call in their language 
peiras) but never in their intestines, whence one 
would not conclude out of turn that these things are 
not only dissolved by them, but also produced, for 
whatever material there is in the stomach does not 
descend before it is softened and converted into 
chyle* - today called chyme. Furthermore the genus 
of birds, especially those who are not carnivorous 
and feed mainly on seeds, such as hens, have a very 
thick membrane of the stomach and in it a very 
keen native heat, as there is in steel* which is made 
hot by the compactness of the material which lies 
beneath it. 



Page 231 



Atque ut is calor conservetur, est tunicae llli 
{ circumdicta} <circumducta> [231] caro multa, 
densaque ac crassa: ut non sit mirum aves 
solidissima quaeque posse conficere. Cum itaque 
lam ita omnia devorent, naturaque ventnculum 
largita sit tarn minfice calidum, lure mento de 
edacibus, helluonibusque homimbus ac omnia sua 
ligunentibus natum est adagium Gallorum incusato 
ventrem 519 , quod ex Anstophane 580 desumptum 
videtur: ait enim: 



And, so that this heat may be conserved there is much 
dense and thick flesh surrounding that tunic. Thus it is 
no wonder that birds can break into bits the most 
solid things. Since in this way they can eat up 
everything and nature endowed them with a stomach 
so marvelously hot, it is with justice that the proverb 
You will find fault with the belly of roosters has arisen, which 
is applied to voracious and greedy men who lick up all 
their things, which seems to be drawn from 
Aristophanes*, for he says: 



575 La citazione non e farina del sacco di Aldrovandi, bensi di quello di Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 383: 
Gallinae calida natura praeditae sunt, nam et venena conficiunt, et aridissima quaeque semina consumunt. et nonnunquam arenas 
lapillosque mgluvie sua devoratos dissolvunt, Dioscor. - Salvo leggere tutto quanto il testo di Dioscoride nelle svariate edizioni, 
nonostante un accanimento e una perseveranza da certosino mi e risultato impossibile localizzare questa affermazione di Dioscoride 
riferita da Gessner. Dioscoride puo benissimo aver affermato tutto cio, oppure si tratta di un'erronea citazione di Gessner a noi 
propinata da Aldrovandi. 

576 Laurent Joubert, Disputatio de febribus putridis; in qua tria de febribus paradoxa L,. /. excutiuntur (1580); cited by Aldrovandi as In 
Apologia pro paradoxis, Book 7, Decade 2. (Lind, 1963) 

577 Aldrovandi ne ha gia parlato a pagina 199: Gallicum vulgus, quod tan quam parergon interiectum esto, inquit Laurentius 
Ioubertus, Gallinarum ventriculum, si bene memini, perie vocat a petris, quas patria lingua peiras dicunt: quoniam raro absque 
lapillis reperitur. — Roberto Ricciardi puntualizza die in dialetto alessandrino — oltre clie in quello valenzano — si dice pre, essendo 
preia la pietra. 

578 Confronta per esempio Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 442: Alii cum vitelli sic in patella assi ad chylum 
ilium pervenerunt, amplius adhuc coquunt, donee materia tota siccari ac denigrari incipiat: quae paulo post iterum liquescet, et 
multum humorem nigrum et ex adustione graveolentem remittet. 

579 Aldrovandi, da buon prestigiatore, manipola il proverbio di Erasmo*, per cui da Gallorum incusare ventres crea un Gallorum incusato 
ventrem, e lo fa passare come suo, tralasciando di citare la fonte. Ben diversamente si e comportato Gessner nel riportare tutta la 
sfilza di proverbi desunti da Erasmo. Se a qualcuno desse fastidio questa mia ennesima filippica contro Aldrovandi, la riprova sta 
nel fatto clie Mihi dixerat ventrem esse Gallinacei \ Velociter enim concoquet hoc argentulum corrisponde al 100% con quanto scritto da 



149 



Mihi dixerat ventrem esse Gallinacei 
Velociter enim concoquet hoc argentulum. 

Ut modo partum Gallinarum promoveamus, 
commodumque ex iis nobis percipiamus, cibos 
convenientes exhibebimus, cavebimusque ne 
devorent, quae sterilitatem mducant. Columella 581 
pro optimis cibarns praeben scribit hordeum 
pinsitum, et viciam, nee non cicerculam, turn etiam 
milium, aut panicum: sed haec ubi {utilitas} 
<vilitas> annonae permittit: ubi vero ea est carior, 
excreta tritici minute commode dan: quod per se 
id frumentum, etiam quibus locis vilissimum est, 
non utiliter praebeatur <, quia obest avibus>. 
Posse etiam lolium decoctum offerri, nee minus 
furfures modice a farina excretos: hos vero si nihil 
habeant farns, non esse idoneos, nee tantum 
appeti <ieiunis>. Palladius 582 ova maiora parere 
tradidit, et saepius, si hordeum semicoctum 
exhibeatur. Rasis idem facti<ta>turas promittit 
Nasturtii seminibus tritis, cum furfure, et cum vino 
{subactas} <subactis>, ac in cibum oblatis. Item 
magna ova tibi parient Gallmae, si testam 
Laconicam tusam furfunbus, et vino admiscueris, 
et subactam Gallinis obiecens: item ad eundem 
effectum rubneam dissolutam cibo earum 
admiscebis. 

Sunt qui parere nequeuntibus Gallinis Melanthii 
semen, quod vulgo gith vocatur, exhibeant. 
Matthiolus 583 experientia sese compertum habere 
asserit Gallmas, quae hyeme, quo tempore propter 
algoris saevitiam raro ova parere solent, cannabis 
semine vescuntur, numerosiore ovorum partu 
gaudere, et Brasavola per totam hyemem ova 
{ajedere testatur. Quod certe msigm pnvilegio 
fecerint, cum alioqui, teste Simeone Sethi, cannabis 
semen in homine genituram instar caphurae 
exiccet. Sunt qui furfunbus coctis tanta crassitie, 



He had told me I had the belly of a rooster 
For it quickly will digests this little silver coin. 

But in order to increase the production of hens and 
obtain a profit from them, we shall give them suitable 
foods, and warn against they swallow those which 
induce sterility. Columella* writes that among the best 
foods to be given them are crushed barley* and 
vetch*, as well as chick-peas*, then also millet* or 
foxtail millet*, but these last two when the low price 
of gram is allowing: but when it is more expensive, 
chaff from wheat in small quantity may conveniently 
be given. This grain by itself, even in places where it is 
very cheap, is not profitably given, being harmful to 
birds. Boiled darnel* may also be offered as well as 
bran if only partially separated from meal, but if there 
is no meal with the bran it is not suitable nor they 
have longing for it when have an empty crop. 
Palladius* reported that they lay larger eggs and 
oftener if you feed the hens half-boiled barley. Razi* 
promises that they usually will do this with crushed 
nasturtium* seeds mixed with bran and wine and 
offered as food. Likewise the hens will lay large eggs 
for you if you mix bran and wine with a crushed 
Laconian* earthenware pot, and offer to them after 
you have mixed it. Likewise for the same effect mix 
pulverized red earth with their food. 

There are those who would offer hens who are not 
able to lay eggs the seed of nigella*, which is 
commonly called gith*. Pierandrea Mattioli* asserts on 
the basis of his own experience that those hens who 
because of the severity of winter cold are accustomed 
to lay few eggs produce more of them when they eat 
hempseed*, and Antonio Brasavola* declares they lay 
eggs throughout the entire winter. They certainly 
obtained this thanks to a singular privilege, because in 
other respects, according to Simeon Sethi*, hempseed, 
like camphor*, dries out the seminal fluid in humans. 



Erasmo. - Nell'edizione degli Adagia di Erasmo del 1550 (Lugduni, apud Sebastianum Gryphium) questo proverbio corrisponde a 
11,10,97 (Chiliadis II Centuna X - XCVII). 

580 Dalla commedia composta nel 422 aC: 2cpf|1CS<5 - Le vespe, 794-95. Ecco il relativo testo complete E Filocleone che parla: 
'AAeictpuovoc, p'ecpaOKS icovAvav e\eiv, | "Tct)(u youv ica6ei];sic, tapyupiov", rj 8'oc, Asycov. 

581 Y) e re rus fi ca VIII,4,1: Cibaria gallinis praebentur optima pinsitum hordeum et vicia, nee minus cicercula, turn etiam milium aut 
panicum. Sed haec ubi vilitas annonae permittit; ubi vero ea est carior, excreta tritici minuta commode dantur. Nam per se id 
frumentum, etiam quibus locis vilissimum est, non utiliter praebetur, quia obest avibus. Potest etiam lolium decoctum obici, nee 
minus furfures modice a farina excreti, qui si nihil habent farris, non sunt idonei, nee tamen appetuntur ieiunis. § E assai verosimile 
che Aldrovandi abbia dedotto minute dal testo di Gessner (Historia animalium III, 1555, pag. 432): ubi vero ea est carior, excreta tritici 
minute commode dantur. nam per se id frumentum, etiam quibus locis utilissimum est, non utiliter praebetur, quia obest avibus. 
Oppure Aldrovandi ha dedotto il testo di Columella dalla stessa fonte utilizzata da Gessner. Sta di fatto che, se si usa l'awerbio 
minute associato a quia obest avibus, questo minute lo si traduce benissimo con "in piccola quantita", visto che nuoce ai polli. Invece 
Aldrovandi omette quia obest avibus, per cui bisognerebbe emendare con minuta. Ma vale la pena emendare aggiungendo quia obest 
avibus di Columella (e di Gessner) e lasciare inalterato minute. 

582 Opus agriculturae I, XXVII De gallinis, 1: Hordeo semicocto et parere saepe coguntur et reddunt ova maiora. Duobus cyathis 
hordei bene pascitur una gallina, quae circuit. 

583 Commentari a Dioscori.de III, 148. (Aldrovandi) 



150 



quanta sumi a Gallma poterunt matura Urticae 
semina immiscent, et sic per hyemem incalescere, 
et foecundiores fieri promittunt: aliqui etiam 
urticas exiccant, manibus atterunt, in futuram 
hyemem servant, et in aqua pro illarum cibo 
decoquunt ob eandem scilicet causam. 

Sed Brasavola ex semine urticae idem promittit, 
quod alii ex cannabis semine. Aliqui item viscum 
decoquunt: cuius quidem pabulo foecunditatem 
dari cuicunque animali, Plinius alibi 584 author est. 
Crescentiensis gralegae, sive rutae caprariae 585 
semen dicere quosdam asseverat, mirabiliter 
foecunditatem Gallmarum augere. Contra vinacea 
sterilitatem mducunt. Quae res nostras mulieres 
minime latet, quando prorsus cavent ne toto eo 
tempore, quo pariunt, ea degustent. Unde Andreas 
a Lacuna non parum hallucmatus viden potest, 
{yovijia} <yovi|iov> 586 quod ex vmaceis acinis 
cohiberi Florentinus scribit, firmitudinem vertens, 
cum foecunditatem transferre debebat: sed, ut 
videtur nominis vicinitate falsus {jiovijia} 
<p.6vi|i.ov> legit. 

Vetus item hactenus opinio molevit fabarum esum 
Gallmis sterilitatem conciliare: inde, ut apparet, 
nata, quod Theophrastus 587 earum putamma 
radicibus arborum apposita vitam penitus tollere 
scripserit: etsi interim nullam Gallinarum 
mentionem faciat, tantum abest, ut earum esum 



There are some people mixing ripe nettle* seeds with 
bran cooked to as great a thickness as the hen can 
consume, and they assure that thus they grow warmer 
during the winter and more fertile. Some also dry out 
nettles, crumble them with their hands, save them for 
the coming winter and cook them very well in water 
for feeding them, of course for the same purpose. 

But Brasavola promises the same result from nettle 
seed as others do from hempseed. Likewise some 
cook a long time the mistletoe; elsewhere Pliny* says 
that using it as food it gets fertility for any animal. Pier 
de' Crescenzi* asserts that some people say the seed of 
gralega*, or goat-rue, increases remarkably the fertility 
of the hens. Dregs of pressed grapes, on the contrary, 
induce sterility. Our women know this very well since 
they take care during the entire laying season that the 
hens do not taste them. Therefore Andres de Laguna* 
seems to have strayed widely from the truth in 
translating the Greek word gonimon — fertile - as 
strength, which Florentinus* writes is inhibited by grape 
husks, when he should have said fecundity, but, as it 
seems, he has read monimon — steady - because 
deceived by the similarity of the word. 

Likewise an old belief which lasted until the present 
time inculcated the conviction that eating broad beans 
induces sterility in hens: seemingly this arose from the 
fact that Theophrastus* wrote their hulls laid at the 
roots of the trees take away the life completely: 
nevertheless meanwhile he makes no mention of hens. 



584 Plinio, parlando del visco: NH XVI,251: Fecunditatem eo poto dari cuicumque animalium sterili arbitrantur, contra venena esse 
omnia remedio. Tanta gentium in rebus frivolis plerumque religio est. - XXIV,12: Quidam et galbanum adiciunt pari pondere 
singulorum eoque modo et ad vulnera utuntur. unguium scabritias expolit, si septenis diebus illinantur nitroque conluantur. quidam 
id religione efficacius fieri putant prima luna collectum e robore sine ferro, si terram non attigerit; comitialibus mederi, conceptum 
feminarum adiuvare, si omnino secum habeant; ulcera commanducato inpositoque efficacissime sanari. 

585 La citazione non e tratta direttamente da Pier de' Crescenzi, bensi da quella fonte inesauribile rappresentata da Conrad Gessner 
Historia animalium III (1555) pag. 426: Gralegae (Rutae caprariae) semen dicunt mirabiliter foecunditatem gallinarum augere, 
Crescentiensis. — La dimostrazione clie la fonte e Gessner e rappresentata dalla sinonimia fra galega — o gralega — e ruta capraria 
reperibile nelle opere botaniche dello zurighese. — Gessner deve aver tratto il testo di de' Crescenzi da un'edizione latina di Rjiralium 
commodorum libri XII e magari da quella edita a Basilea nel 1548 clie va sotto il nome di De omnibus agriculturae partibus et de plantarum et 
animalium generibus. Infatti nell'edizione del 1490 della traduzione italiana di Rjiralia commoda non ricorre la voce singola Gralega come 
invece awiene nell'edizione latina del 1548, perlomeno nel libro VI dedicato alle erbe. — Ecco il testo di de' Crescenzi: Gralega 
dicitur impinguare terram si viridis vertatur in earn. Itidem dicitur quod eius semen mirabiliter facit ovare gallinas. (liber VI, pag. 216 
De omnibus agriculturae partibus et de plantarum et animalium generibus, 1548) 

586 II download e verosimilmente awenuto da Conrad Gessner in Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 432: Maxime observandum ne 
vinaceos acinos vorent, ut qui foecunditatem (Andreas a Lacuna vertit firmitudinem. legit enim {powpa} <|IOVtpov> non 
{yovipa} <yovipov>, quod non probo) earum cohibeant, Florentinus.- Si emenda in base a Geoponica sive Cassiani Bassi Scholastici 
De re rustica eclogae - recensuit Henricus Beckh (Teubner, 1994) - 14,7,4: "OtCtV 8s CQOTOKCOcn , TtapatrjpeiV pdAvOTa \pr\, OTtCOC, 
pfj yiyapTCC cpdycoai. TO yap yovipov CtUTCOV STtS)(Sl. - Oltretutto Gessner nel suo Lexicon graecolatinum (1537) da yowpoq solo 
come sostantivo maschile e non come aggettivo, anche se poi, incomprensibilmente, lo traduce come aggettivo: rovipcxj. OU. O. 
fertilis, naturalis, genitalis, prolificus. 

587 De causis plantarum V,21. (Aldrovandi) — In Theophrasti Eresii opera omnia (Fridericus Wimmer — Parigi, Didot, 1866) non esiste il 
capitolo 21. II libro V finisce con il capitolo 18. Come suggerito da Roberto Ricciardi, verosimilmente si tratta del libro IV,14,2: 
Inter legumina rubigine maxime corripitur faba, turn propter foliorum multitudunem in partibus omnibus, turn quia densa seritur, 
turn etiam quia propter raritatem maxime humorem attrahit, denique quia omnium maxime terrae propinquum fructum habet: 
maxime enim partes inferae putrescunt, quoniam minime a vento teguntur. Ac omnino legumina ejusmodi rubigini sunt obnoxia. 



151 



lllis mterdicat ut postmodum Clemens 588 <,> 
Apollonius 589 , Avicenna, multique recentiores 
fecerunt. Cum vero fabas mflare nulli non notum 
sit, et mflantia omnia venerem ciere, plane videre 
nequeo, cur ob dictam causam Gallmae earum esu 
abstinere debeant. Quare etiam eorum sententiam 
probare minime possum qui Pythagoreos tradunt 
fabarum esum vetasse, quoniam comesae mulieres 
infoecundas reddant 590 . Quinim<m>o contra 
Plutarchus 591 aliam causam affert, cur Pythagoras a 
fabis abstinen voluerit, nempe quod omnia 
legumina spiritum, et humorem impurum 
ingenerent in corponbus atque hanc ob causam ad 
venerem incitent. In eadem sententia Cicero 592 
fuisse videtur, cum scnbit ad hunc modum. lubet 
igitur Plato sic ad somnum profidsci corponbus affectis, ut 
nihil sit, quod errorem animis perturbationemque adferat. 
Ex quo etiam Pjthagor{a] eis interdictum putatur, nefaba 
vescerentur, quod habe{a}t inflationem magnam {in cibis) 
<is cibus>, tranquillitati mentis qu<a>erenti vera 
contrariam. 



Hieronymus {Merculians} <Mercurialis> 593 
denique medicus nostri aevi longe celeberrimus, 
mihique amicissimus non tantum in eadem mecum 
opinione est, sed de Theophrasti verbis etiam 
dubitare videtur, et revera nostri agricolae ut 
ubenorem segetem faciant, fabam pnus seminant, 
quod pmguedinem quandam in terra relmquere 
noscant, unde subsequenti anno frumenti copiam 
maiorem colligant, tantum abest, ut stenlitatem 
agris inferre existiment. An vero earum cortices, ut 
vult Theophrastus, arbores extinguant, an non, 
compertum minime habeo et penes ilium fidem 
eius relmquo. Esset vero super hac re diligens, 
prudensque agricola consulendus. Ego itaque fabas 



he is so far from forbidding them to eat broad beans, 
as later Titus Flavius Clemens*, Appollonius 
Discolus*, Avicenna* and many more recent authors 
have done. But since everyone knows that broad 
beans inflate and everything that inflates encourages 
sexual appetite, I certainly cannot see why hens should 
abstain from eating them because of the above- 
mentioned reason. Therefore I cannot share at all the 
opinion of those who report that the Pythagoreans* 
forbade the eating of broad beans, since they render 
barren the women who have eaten them. Or rather, 
Plutarch* reports on the contrary another reason why 
Pythagoras forbade the eating of broad beans, namely 
because all legumes generate an impure breath and 
humor inside the bodies — the favism* - and thus 
incite sexual lust. Cicero* seems to have been of the 
same opinion when he writes in this way: Therefore 
Plato* adiices to go to sleep with bodies so prepared that nothing 
is able to bring to the soul restlessness or trouble. Also for this 
reason, it is thought the Pythagoreans were forbidden to eat 
broad beans, for this food produces great flatulence which is 
detrimental to the peace of the mind for who is in search of the 
truth. 

Finally Girolamo Mercuriale*, a very celebrated 
physician of our time and a great friend of mine, not 
only shares my opinion but seems even to doubt the 
words of Theophrastus. Actually our farmers, in order 
to produce a more fertile ground, first they plant 
broad beans, because they know that they leave as a 
fat in the soil, so that in the following year they gather 
a larger crop of wheat, so far are they from believing 
that they bring sterility to the fields. As to whether 
their hulls destroy trees or not, as Theophrastus 
claims, I have no knowledge whatever, and I leave him 
in possession of his faith. A careful and judicious 
farmer should really be consulted in this matter. Thus 
I should by no means deny broad beans to the hens, 



588 Strom at a, 3. (Aldrovandi) 

589 Historia mirabilium. (Aldrovandi) 

590 Cio che dice Aldrovandi e vero. Infatti Pitagora diceva die mangiare le fave e lo stesso clie mangiare la testa dei genitori. E 
Luciano, nel suo dialogo II sogno ovvero il gallo - Oneiros e alektryon - fa esprimere Pitagora, reincarnatosi in un gallo, con queste parole: 
5 - GALLO Perche tu non conosci, Micillo, qual e la ragione di cio, ne cos'e che si conviene a ciascuna vita. Effettivamente a quel 
tempo io non mangiavo le fave: ero filosofo. Ora invece le mangerei, perche e un alimento buono per i volatili, a noi non interdetto. 
Ma, se ci tieni, allora ascolta com'e che prima ero Pitagora e adesso sono cosi, e quante vite passate ho gia alle spalle, e cosa ci ho 
guadagnato da ciascuna nel loro succedersi. (traduzione di Claudio Consonni) 

591 Probkmata (Aldrovandi). - Quaestiones conviviales 11,3,1 635 E - VIII,8,2 729A - De hide 352F, 359F - Moralia 286D - Aetia 
Romana 95,286E: "Ecm 8s tec oOTtpia (= xovq Kudpouq) TtvsupaTc68r| kcu TtepvtTcopa atoiei TtoAAfjc, icaBdpaecoc, 
Seopsvov. "H otv iced itpoc, avvovaiav itapopica 8vd to cpuacoSsc, ical Ttveupatiicov; 

592 De divinatione I, XXX, 62: Epicurum igitur audiemus potius? Namque Carneades concertationis studio modo ait hoc, modo illud; 
at ille quod sentit: sentit autem nihil umquam elegans, nihil decorum. Hunc ergo antepones Platoni et Socrati? Qui ut rationem non 
redderent, auctoritate tamen hos minutos philosophos vincerent. Iubet igitur Plato sic ad somnum proficisci corporibus adfectis, ut 
nihil sit, quod errorem animis perturbationemque adferat. Ex quo etiam Pythagoreis interdictum putatur, ne faba vescerentur, quod 
habet infiationem magnam is cibus tranquillitati mentis quaerenti vera contrariam. 

593 Variae lectiones IV,5. (Aldrovandi) - Edito a Venezia nel 1570 da P. e A. Meietus. (Lind, 1963) 



152 



Gallinis minime interdixerim, sed potius 
laudaverim. Nam et {Bavatos} <Batavos> audio 
apud quos fabae vilis annona est, Columbis dare, 
ut ad venerem alacriores reddantur, et per 
consequens citius pariant. 



but should rather praise them. For I hear that the 
Dutch, among whom broad beans are cheap 
foodstuffs, give them to doves to make them more 
active sexually and hence so that they lay faster. 



Page 232 



Vinaceis vero omnino abstinere iusserim, [232] 
quod quanvis tolerabiliter pascant, ex eorum 
tamen usu, raro pariant, et ova exigua faciant. 
Sint igitur ipsis cibus post autumnum, cum a 
partu cessant. Quod etiam Columellae 
praeceptum est. Eo tempore, inquit 594 , quo 
parere desinent aves, id est, ab ldibus Novembns 
pretios<i>ores cibi subtrahendi sunt, et vinacea 
praebenda, quae satis commode pascunt adiectis 
interdum tritici excrementis. Vitentur herbae 
amarae, maxime {absynthium} <absmthium>, 
siquidem ex eius esu ova amarissima panunt. 
Sunt qui ex impura cibana pascentibus Gallinis 
putnda plerunque venenataque ova nasci velint, 
et excrementosa, si humanas faeces comedennt. 
Lupinis etiam abstinere debent ob eandem 
causam, turn vero quod sub oculis grana gignant, 
ut Crescentiensis observavit 595 , quae nisi acu, 
teste Palladio 596 , leviter apertis pelliculis 
auferantur, oculos extinguunt. 



Uvae, quarum alioqui sapore maxime afficiuntur, 
propter vinacea prohibentur, quae stenles 
reddunt, turn etiam, quod pituitam generent 
communem huius avium generis pestem, 
maxime si immaturae fuerint. Idem 
incommodum ficus adferunt, quorum esu non 
minus gaudent, et perperam Ornithologus 597 aut 
lectum ab Hermolao 598 , aut male mtellectum hoc 
Graecum carmen suspicatur. 



But I would like to advise that hens ought to abstain 
absolutely from grape husks since, although they are 
fairly well nourishing, they seldom lay eggs and small 
ones when using them. Therefore they must be a food 
for them after the autumn when they stop laying. This 
is also an advice of Columella*. He says: At the time 
when the birds cease laying, that is, starting from the ides of 
November - November 1 3th, more expensive foods should be 
withheld, and grape husks given them since they are satisfactory 
nourishing, occasionally adding wheat discards. Bitter herbs 
should be avoided, chiefly wormwood*, because 
when eating it they lay very bitter eggs. There are 
people who think that from hens eating impure foods 
they take birth generally rotten and poisoned eggs, as 
well as with taste of excrements if they ate human 
feces. They should also abstain from lupines* for the 
same reason, as well as for the reason that granules 
occur under their eyes, as Pier de' Crescenzi* 
observed, which cause the loss of the sight unless, as 
Palladius* reports, they are removed with a needle 
after the thin skin covering them has been delicately 
opened. 

Grapes, by whose taste on the other hand they are 
exceedingly attracted, are forbidden on account of the 
grape-stones, which make them sterile, and also 
because they cause the pip*, a common disease 
among this genus of birds, especially if grapes are 
immature. Figs cause them the same disease, and in 
eating them they do not take less pleasure, and the 
Ornithologist is suspicious that the following Greek 
verse has been either misread or misunderstood by 



594 De re rustica VIII,5,25: Eodem quoque tempore cum parere desinent aves, id est ab ldibus Novembribus, pretiosiores cibi 
subtrahendi sunt et vinacea praebenda, quae satis commode pascunt, adiectis interdum tritici excrementis. 

595 Pier de' Crescenzi non ha osservato un bel niente. Egli si limita a ripetere pedissequamente quanto riferito telegraficamente da 
Palladio. Per cui non vale neppure la pena citare quanto contenuto nel suo Rjiralium commodorum - Libro IX - Di tutti gli animali che 
si nutricano in villa - capitolo LXXXVI - Delle galline - pagina 241 (traduzione italiana stampata nel 1490, di proprieta della Army 
Medical Library (n° 32563) Washington DC, USA - pubblicata da http://gallica.bnf.fr) 

596 Opus agriculturae I, XXVII De gallinis, 2: Si amarum lupinum comedant, sub oculis illis grana ipsa procedunt. Quae nisi acu leviter 
apertis pelliculis auferantur, extinguunt. — A mio awiso non si tratta di un effetto dei lupini, bensi della manifestazione cutanea del 
difterovaiolo aviario. Vedi il lessico alia voce Pipita*. 

597 Conrad Gessner Historic! Animalium III (1555), pag. 410: Gallinaceos amantibus ficum ne serito, Hermolaus Corollario 194. 
Veluti proverbiale recenset. Ego Graecum carmen, Siika phil 'ornithessi, phyteiiein d'ouk ethelousin: hoc est, Aves amant ficus, sed 
plantare recusant, perperam aut lectum ab eo, aut male intellectum suspicor. 

598 Corollarium in Dioscoridem 194 (1516). - Ermolao Barbaro alia fine di questo corollario elenca alcuni proverbi relativi al fico e si 
astiene dal riferirne sia la fonte che il significato. Quindi Ermolao non accenna affatto di aver letto il verso greco di fonte 
gessneriana. Siamo di fronte a una tortuosa elaborazione da parte di Aldrovandi delle con side razioni sinteticamente espresse in via 
puramente ipotetica da Gessner. Ecco l'asettico testo di Ermolao per il quale voglio rispettare maiuscole e minuscole che a mio 



153 



2ura cpiA'6pvi6e{o}<a>ai, cputeueiv 8'ouk 

e6£\ouaiv, id est: 

Fiats amant aves, plantare vero nolunt. 

Cum ceu proverbialiter recenseat Gallinaceos 
amantibus {ficus} <ficum> 599 ne serito: quasi 
vero Barbarus Gallinaceos neget ficus amare. 
Sed hoc voluit indicare, ut qui eiusmodi aves 
lucn causa educant, ficus non offerant, quod, ut 
dixi, pituitam generent. Ut lgitur huic malo 
obviam eas, caprificum una cum cibo decoctam 
offeres, atque ita, teste Columella, ficus fastidire 
facies. Item uvarum fasti dium mducit uva 
labrusca de vepnbus immatura lecta. Plinius alibi 
simpliciter cibo mcoctam dan mbet, alibi cum 
farre mistam 600 . Columella 601 cum farre triticeo 
minuto coctam esurientibus obijei vult, 
polliceturque ems sapore offendi ita aves, ut 
omnem aspernentur uvam. Sed videndum est, 
num eandem plantam mtellexerit, quam Plinius. 
Hie enim alibi 602 etiam uvae florem id praestare 
scripsit his verbis: Uvae florem in cibis si edere 
Gallinacei, uvas non attingunt. Fortassis {oenantem} 
<oenanthen> 603 e Graeco uvae florem transtulit. 
A Diosconde quidem memoratur genus vitis 
sylvestris sterile, quod fructum non profert, sed 
florem tantum, {quen} <quem> oenanthen 
vocant 604 . Sed Labrusca alioqui fructum fert, at 
exiguum eumque pnus admodum austerum, post 
mellitum, atque dulcissimum. 



Ermolao Barbaro*. 

Sitka phil'omithessi, phyteuein d'ouk ethelousin, that is: 
The birds like the figs, but they do not wish to plant them. 

Since by a sort of proverb he bids: you don't will plant 
a fig for those who love chickens; as though Ermolao 
Barbaro affirms that chickens don't like figs. But he 
wished to indicate this: so that those who raise 
chickens for profit should not offer them figs, 
because, as I said, they cause the pip. Then, to ward 
off this disease you should offer the hens boiled wild 
figs* with their food and thus, as Columella testifies, 
you will make them dislike figs. Likewise the wild 
grape - or lambmscct, picked unripe among thorny 
shrubs, gives a dislike for different kind of grapes. In 
a passage Pliny* urges it must be cooked and given 
them as food just as it is; in another it must be given 
mixed with emmer* meal. Columella wishes it to be 
given hungry hens boiled with fine wheat flour, and 
promises that its taste will so disgust the birds that 
they will refuse all grapes. But it must be seen whether 
he means the same plant as Pliny does. For the latter 
elsewhere wrote that also the grape flower 
accomplishes the same purpose, by these words: If the 
chickens eat the flower of the grape in their food they do not 
touch grapes. Perhaps he translated from the Greek 
oenanthe as grape's flower. Dioscondes* indeed 
mentions a kind of sterile wild vine which does not 
give a fruit but only a flower, which they call oenanthe. 
But however the lambmsca bears a fruit, which 
however is small, and which before is very sour, later 
honeyed and very sweet. 



awiso ricorrono a casaccio: produntur & de hac arbore proverbia. ficum post piscem. legumina post carnem. gallinaceos amantibus 
ficum ne serito. Assentari nescio ficum ficum. Panem panem dico. Sacra ficus athenis vocabatur via quae ducit ad eleusinem. 

599 Ermolao Barbaro — cosi come citato da Gessner — n^ ficum e non ficus. 

600 Naturalis historia XIV,99: Universi numquam maturescunt, et si prius quam tota inarescat uva incocta detur cibo gallinaceo 
generi, fastidium gignit uvas adpetendi. - Roberto Ricciardi afferma che non si trova in Plinio un passo in cui si parli della labrusca 
cum farre. E quindi assai verosimile che Aldrovandi si sia affidato ciecamente a Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 
431: Id vitium maxime nascitur cum frigore et penuria cibi laborant aves. item cum ficus aut uva immatura nee (videtur menda) ad 
satietatem permissa est, quibus scilicet cibis abstinendae sunt aves: eosque ut fastidiant efficit uva labrusca de vepribus immatura 
lecta, quae cum farre triticeo minuto cocta (Plinius simpliciter cibo incoctam dari iubet, alibi cum farre miscendam) obijeitur 
esurientibus: eiusque sapore offensae aves, omnem aspernantur uvam, Columella. 

601 Y) e re rusfica VIII,5,23: Id porro vitium maxime nascitur cum frigore et penuria cibi laborant aves, item cum per aestatem 
consistens in cohortibus fuit aqua, item cum ficus aut uva inmatura nee ad satietatem permissa est, quibus scilicet cibis abstinendae 
sunt aves. Eosque ut fastidiant efficit uva labrusca de vepribus inmatura lecta, quae cum hordeo triticeo minuto cocta obicitur 
esurientibus, eiusque sapore offensae aves omnem spernantur uvam. Similis ratio est etiam caprifici, quae decocta cum cibo 
praebetur avibus, et ita fici fastidium creat. 

602 Naturalis historia XIV,98-99: Fit e labrusca, hoc est vite silvestri, quod vocatur oenanthinum, floris eius libris duabus in musti 
cado maceratis. Post dies XXX utuntur. Praeter hoc radix labruscae, acini coria perficiunt. [99] Hi paulo post quam defloruere 
singulare remedium habent ad refrigerandos in morbis corporum ardores, gelidissima, ut ferunt, natura. Pars eorum aestu moritur 
prius quam reliqua, quae solstitiales dicuntur. Universi numquam maturescunt, et si prius quam tota inarescat uva incocta detur cibo 
gallinaceo generi, fastidium gignit uvas adpetendi. 

603 II vocabolo greco di genere femminile oinanthe significa: gemma della vite, vite silvestre, fiore della vite, fiore della clematide. 

604 Nell'edizione del De materia medica di Jean Ruel* del 1549 - e di conseguenza in quella di Pierandrea Mattioli* del 1554 - si parla 
della vite selvatica oenanthe nel libro V capitolo 5. 



154 



Caeterum quaecunque dabitur esca per cohortem 
vagantibus, monet Columella 605 , ut die incipiente, 
et lam in vesperam mclmante bis dividatur, ne 
scilicet mane a cubili latius evagentur, et ante 
crepusculum vespertinum propter cibi spem 
tempestivius ad officmam redeant, possitque 
numerus capitum saepius recognosci. Nam 
omne volatile pecus pastoris custodiam facile 
decipit. Quantum autem cuique avi exhibendum 
est difficulter exprimi posse putem. Palladius 606 
tamen duobus hordei cyathis 607 , unam, quae vaga 
est, Gallmam bene pasci dixit. 

Qui vero sagmare eas, et ad mensae luxum 
educare volunt, diligentius, et maion impensa eas 
nutriunt, ut ea dignam mercedem consequantur. 
Quae res antiquissima certe est, et quam Deliaci 
pnmi exercuisse perhibentur, de quibus ita 
Plinius 608 : Gallinas saginare Deliaci coepere: unde pestis 
exorta {optimas} <cpimas> aves, et suopte corpore 
unctas devorandi. Hoc primum antiquis caenarum 
interdictis exceptum invenio iam lege C. Fannii Cos. XL 
annis ante tertium Punicum helium, ne quid {volucrum} 
<volucre> poneretur praeter unam Gallinam, quae non 
esset altilis: quod deinde caput translatum per omnes leges 
ambulaiit. Meminit eorundem Cicero 609 : Vides ne, 
mquiens, ut in proverbio sit ovorum inter se similitudo? 
Tamen hoc accepimus, Delifuisse complures saliis rebus 
illis, qui Gallinas alere permultas, quaestus causa 
solerent. {Hi} <Ei> cum ovum inspexerant, quae id 
Gallina peperisset dicere solebant. <A> Petronio 
Arbitro 610 Deliaci Gallinarum curatores <dicti 
sunt> Molles, veteres, Deliaci manu recisi, id est 
castrati, ut Scaliger exponit. 



Whatever food is given the flock when it wanders 
through the barnyard, Columella advises that it must 
be divided in two times, at daybreak and towards 
evening, so that they will not wander far from the pen 
in the morning and will return to the poultry house 
early before evening twilight because of their hope of 
food, and the number of head can be repeatedly 
counted. For whatever flock of fowls easily deceives 
the check of the keeper. I should think it is difficult to 
tell how much food should be given each bird. 
Palladius said, however, that two cyathi of barley feed 
well a wandering hen. 

But those who wish to fatten and raise them for table 
pleasures, they feed them more carefully and with 
greater expense, in order to obtain a worthwhile 
profit. This practice is certainly very ancient, and the 
inhabitants of Delos* are regarded as firsts to have 



carried it out, of whom Pliny writes as follows: 
have been the inhabitants of Delos who began to fatten hens, 
whence arose the very bad practice of eat up fat poultry basted in 
its own greasy. Among the ancient prohibitions concerning 
courses, in the law promulgated by the consul Caius Fannius* 
eleven years before the Third Punic War - 161 BC - 1 first find 
the prohibition of serting no course of fowl except a single not 
fattened hen; this article of law was later resumed and drifted 
from law to law. Cicero* mentioned them when saying: 
Are you aware how the likeness of one egg to another is 
proverbial? Nevertheless we have been told what follows, that at 
Delos, without damage for those things, a great number of 
people were in the habit of 'keeping large numbers of hens for 
profit purposes. Whenever they looked at an egg they used to tell 
which hen laid it*. The hens keepers of Delos are called 
by Petronius Arbiter* The ancient effeminate Delians cut by 
the hand, that is, castrated, as Giulio Cesare* /Giuseppe 
Giusto* Scaligero explains. 



605 De re rustica VIII,4,3: Sed cum plane post autumnum cessa[n]t a fetu, potest hoc cibo sustineri. Ac tamen quaecumque dabitur 
esca per cohortem vagantibus, die incipiente et iam in vesperum declinato, bis dividenda est, ut et mane non protinus a cubili latius 
evagentur, et ante crepusculum propter cibi spem temperius ad officinam redeant, possintque numerus capitum saepius recognosci. 
Nam volatile pecus facile custodiam pastoris decipit. 

606 Opus agriculturae I, XXVII De gallinis, 1: Duobus cyathis hordei bene pascitur una gallina, quae circuit. 

607 Ciato: dal greco kjathos. 1) Ciotola, prowista di lungo manico, in uso nell'antichita tra la fine del sec. VI e la meta del V aC per 
travasare il vino dal cratere nelle brocche. 2) Antica unita di misura di capacita corrispondente a Vi decilitro scarso. Un decilitro = 
100 ml. Quattro ciati corrispondono a circa 200 ml. Orbene, 200 ml di granaglie corrispondono in media a 150 grammi. Infatti 200 
ml di granaverde di riso = 150 gr, di mais intero = 145 gr, di mais macinato medio insieme alia sua farina = 140 gr. La farina di 
frumento tipo 00 ha un peso specifico basso: 200 ml pesano solo 100 grammi. - Vedi anche: Pesi e misure*. 

608 Naturalis historic! X,139: Gallinas saginare Deliaci coepere, unde pestis exorta opimas aves et suopte corpore unctas devorandi. 
Hoc primum antiquis cenarum interdictis exceptum invenio iam lege Gai Fanni consulis undecim annis ante tertium Punicum 
bellum, ne quid volucre poneretur praeter unam gallinam quae non esset altilis, quod deinde caput translatum per omnes leges 
ambulavit. 

609 Academica II 57: Videsne ut in proverbio sit ovorum inter se similitudo? Tamen hoc accepimus, Deli fuisse complures salvis 
rebus illis, qui gallinas alere permultas quaestus causa solerent: ei cum ovum inspexerant, quae id gallina peperisset dicere solebant. 

610 Satyricon XXIII: Hue hue convenite nunc, spatalocinaedi, | pede tendite, cursum addite, convolate planta, | femore facili, clune 
agili et manu procaces, | molles, veteres, Deliaci manu recisi. — Si emenda il testo di Aldrovandi senza troppi fronzoli grafici, 
altrimenti ne scaturirebbe una confusione maggiore di quanto la tipografia ci propone. 



155 



Saginantur autem hyeme melius, quam aestate. 
Sunt tamen qui asserunt Gallmas potissimum 
pmguescere, quo tempore arbores florent: 
maxime, si flores depascantur: ova vero tunc 
etiam cito corrumpi ac putrescere. Locus ad 
saginandum {calidissimus} <tepidus> 

deligendus, et modici lummis, quod motus 
earum, et lux pinguedim mimica sit, ut Varro 611 
tradit, et expenentia suffragatur: unde et 
Martialis 612 ganeae non impentus fuisse videri 
potest, cum non tantum nobis tradident, quo 
loco sagmentur, verum etiam, quo cibo maxime. 
Ait autem: 

Pasritur et duld fadli<s> Gallina farina, 
Pasritur et tenebris{, } <. > {ingenios agula est) 
<lngeniosa gula est>. 
Vocat autem dulcem farinam, quae ex milio fit 
mulso lacteve elotam, unde etiam Plinius 613 
dicebat: Inventumque diverticulum est in fraude<m> 
earum Gallinaceos quoque pascendi lacte madidis cibis, 
multo itagratiores approbantur. 

Pmguescunt fere viginti qumque diebus, singulae 
caveis mclusae, quae ab utraque parte foramina 
habeant, unum, quo caput alterum, quo caudam 
exerant, ut scilicet cibum capere, et excrementa 
deponere quean t. 



They are fattened better in winter than in summer. 
There are those, however, who assert that hens fatten 
above all in the season when trees are blooming: 
especially if they eat flowers: but at that time their 
eggs are also quickly corrupted and grow rotten. A 
lukewarm place for fattening hens should be chosen 
and with a moderate light, because their motion and 
the light are adverse to fattening, as Varro* reports 
and experience supports. Hence, also Martial* can 
appear to have been experienced in carousing since he 
not only reported the place where hens are to be 
fattened, but also the food which fattens them most. 
For he says: 

The hen is easily nourished also with sweet meal, 
she is also nourished by darkness. The palate is ingenious. 
And he calls sweet flour that made from millet*, 
moistened with hydro mel or milk, whence also Pliny 
said: A loophole to evade these laws has been found by feeding 
also roosters with foods soaked in milk: in this way they are 
regarded as much more tasteful. 



They grow fat within almost twenty-five days, 
enclosed singly in coops which have holes on each 
side, one for thrusting out their head and another for 
the tail, that is, so that they can both eat and put 
down their dung. 



Page 233 



[233] Pluma omnis in capite, sub alis, atque 
clumbus {detergatur} <detergetur 614 >, lllic ne 
pediculos creet, hie ne stercore naturalia 
laedantur. Varro 615 ex alls, et cauda pennas evelli 
iubet. Florentinus extremas, quare et hae{c} 
eximi poterunt. Substernatur mundissima palea, 
vel molle foenum. Nam si dure cubent, non 



Every feather on head, under wings, and on buttocks 
should be cleaned, to prevent that they give rise to 
lice* in first two areas, in the latter point to keep their 
genital parts from being damaged by dung. Varro* 
advises the feathers should be plucked from wings 
and tail. Florentinus* says the outermost ones, 
therefore these also can be plucked. The cleanest 



611 Rerum rusticarum 111,9,19: De tribus generibus gallinae saginantur maxime villaticae. Eas includunt in locum tepidum et angustum 
et tenebricosum, quod motus earum et lux pinguitudinis vindicta, ad hanc rem electis maximis gallinis, nee continuo his, quas 
Melicas appellant falso, quod antiqui, ut Thetim Thelim dicebant, sic Medicam Melicam vocabant. 

612 Epigrammi XIII, 62, Gallinae altiles. Pascitur et dulci facilis gallina farina, | pascitur et tenebris. Ingeniosa gula est. 

613 Naturalis historia X,139-140: Gallinas saginare Deliaci coepere, unde pestis exorta opimas aves et suopte corpore unctas 
devorandi. Hoc primum antiquis cenarum interdictis exceptum invenio iam lege Gai Fanni consulis undecim annis ante tertium 
Punicum bellum, ne quid volucre poneretur praeter unam gallinam quae non esset altilis, quod deinde caput translatum per omnes 
leges ambulavit. [140] Inventumque deverticulum est in fraudem earum gallinaceos quoque pascendi lacte madidis cibis: multo ita 
gratiores adprobantur. § Non si capisce in cosa consista la scappatoia stando alle parole di Plinio. Per la legge Fannia non si poteva 
porre in tavola alcun volatile eccetto una gallina che non doveva essere stata ingrassata. Ma i galli, nutriti con cibi inzuppati nel latte 
per renderli di sapore piu raffinato, erano anch'essi dei volatili, salvo che li facessero passare per galline asportando cresta e speroni, 
oppure che i cibi inzuppati nel latte fossero capaci - ma non lo erano - di castrarli e di farli somigliare a galline. Misteri 
interpretativi! Oltretutto, grazie al latino di Plinio, quae non esset altilis potrebbe magari tradursi con gallina che non fosse grass a = che 
doveva essere grassa, come ci permettiamo noi italiani di usare il non con il condizionale con finalita affermative anziche negative. Ma se 
la gallina doveva essere grassa, addio parsimonia nelle spese per le mense, perche ingrassare un volatile costa di piu. 

614 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 432: Pluma omnis e capite, et sub alis atque clunibus detergetur. Illic ne 
pediculum creet, hie ne stercore loca naturalia exulceret. 

615 Rerum rusticarum 111,9,20: Ex iis evulsis ex alis pinnis et e cauda farciunt turundis hordeaceis partim admixtis farina lolleacia aut 
semine lini ex aqua dulci. 



156 



facile pinguescunt. 



At non obesas tantum, sed in cibo etiam longe 
suaviores fore promittunt omnes ferme rei 
rusticae scriptores, si farina hordeacea recenti 
aqua mulsa conspersa exhibeatur. Unde 
Columella 616 , postquam, ut videtur, ex Varrone, 
apud quern eadem leges, nisi quod simplicem 
earn aquam dulcem vocet, simplici earn aqua 
conspergit, et ita offas ex eadem fieri iussit, 
pnmisque diebus dan parcius, donee plus 
concoquere consuescant: quod cruditas vitanda 
sit maxime, tantumque praebendum, quantum 
digerere possint: neque ante recens exhibenda, 
quam tentato gutture apparuerit nihil veteris 
escae remansisse. Nam Mi, inquit, qui volunt non 
solum opimas, sed etiam teneras aves efficere, mulsa 
{recente} <recenti> aqua praedicti generis farinam 
conspergunt, {atque infarciunt) <etitafarciunt>. 

Nonnulli, teste Varrone 617 , pane triticeo, vino 
optimo ac odorato madefacto, et aqua praedicta 
opimant, ita ut viginti diebus pingues reddant, et 
teneras. Alii, inquit Columella, tribus aquae 
partibus unam bom vini miscent, madefactoque 
eodem pane obesant: et hoc modo farctam 
avem, quae prima Luna (quoniam id quoque 
custodiendum est) sagman {caepta} <coepta>, 
vigesima pergliscere tradit. Varro 618 turundis 
hordeaceis partim {admistis} <admixtis> {ex} 
farina {hordeacea} <lolleacia>, aut semine lim 
ex aqua dulci farciri scnbit, ldque facere mbet 
usque ad dies vigintiquinque turn denique 
pingues fieri. Laudatur Florentino etiam milium. 
Et panicum ad Gallinarum Columbarumque 
sagmam potius datur, quam ad hominum 
alimentum. Cardanus author est, Gallinas si 
pmgui lacertae salnitro cyminoque farinam tritici 
miscueris et hoc cibo eas sagmavens, adeo 



straw must be spread underneath, or soft hay. For if 
they lie down on something hard they do not easily 
grow fat. 

But almost all writers on agriculture assure that they 
will not only be obese but much more tasteful if they 
are fed on barley* meal sprinkled with water recently 
mixed with honey. Hence Columella*, who seemingly 
gathered it from Varro in whose book you will read 
the same things, after he simply called water that 
sweet water, he sprinkles barley meal with unmixed 
water, and after he prescribed little balls to be made, 
to be given sparingly in the first days until they get 
accustomed to digest them in larger amount: since 
indigestion is to be avoided by all means, and only so 
much food should be given as they can digest: and, 
before new food is given, their crop is to be touched 
lest any previous food remained in it. He says: For 
those who wish to make hens not only fat, but also tender, they 
sprinkle meal of aforementioned kind with fresh hydromel, and 
thus they fatten them. 

Some, Varro is witness, fatten them with wheat bread 
soaked in very good and fragrant wine as well as in 
the aforementioned water, so that they can grow fat 
and tender in twenty days. Others, Columella says, 
mix one part of good wine with three parts of water, 
and with the same soaked bread they fatten them: and 
he says a hen fattened in this way, which begun to be 
fattened at the beginning of new moon (since also this 
must be observed) finishes its fattening by the 
twentieth day. Varro writes that they are stuffed with 
barley mash partly mixed with darnel* flour or 
flaxseeds* kneaded with running water, and he 
prescribes to do this for twenty-five days, and then 
they become fat. Millet* is also praised by Florentinus. 
Also foxtail millet* is given for fattening hens and 
pigeons rather than for feeding humans. Gerolamo 
Cardano* asserts that hens, if you will mix wheat flour 
with a fat lizard, saltpeter and cumin*, and you will 
nourish them with this food, they fatten up to such an 



616 De re rustica VIII,7,3-4: [3] Cibus autem praebetur hordeacea farina, quae cum est aqua consparsa et subacta, formantur offae, 
quibus avis salivatur. Hae tamen primis diebus dari parcius debent, dum plus concoquere consuescant. Nam cruditas maxime 
vitanda est, tantumque praebendum quantum digerere possint. Neque ante recens admovenda est quam temptato gutture apparuerit 
nihil veteris escae remansisse. [4] Cum deinde satiata est avis, paululum deposita cavea dimittitur, et ita ne evagetur, sed potius, si 
quid est quod earn stimulet aut mordeat, rostro persequatur. Haec fere communis est cura farcientium. Nam illi qui volunt non 
solum opimas sed etiam teneras avis efficere, mulsea recenti aqua praedicti generis farinam conspargunt, et ita farciunt. nonnulli 
tribus aquae partibus, unam boni vini miscent, madefactoque triticeo pane obesant avem, quae prima luna (quoniam id quoque 
custodiendum est) saginari coepta vicensima pergliscit. 

617 Kerum rusticarum 111,9,21: Quidam et triticeo pane intrito in aquam, mixto vino bono et odorato, farciunt, ita ut diebus XX 
pingues reddant ac teneras. Si in farciendo nimio cibo fastidiunt, remittendum in datione pro portione, ac decern primis processit, in 
posterioribus ut deminuat eadem ratione, ut vicesimus dies et primus sint pares. Eodem modo palumbos farciunt ac reddunt 
pingues. 

618 Kerum rusticarum 111,9,20: Ex iis evulsis ex alis pinnis et e cauda farciunt turundis hordeaceis partim admixtis farina lolleacia aut 
semine lini ex aqua dulci. Bis die cibum dant, observantes ex quibusdam signis ut prior sit concoctus, antequam secundum dent. 
Dato cibo, quom perpurgarunt caput, nequos habeat pedes, rursus eas concludunt. Hoc faciunt usque ad dies XXV; tunc denique 
pingues fiunt. 



157 



pmguescere hominesque qui eis aluntur, ita 
pinguefieri, ut disrumpantur 619 . 

Io. Iacobus Weckerus 620 eiusmodi sese secretum 
ab Hollando quodam accepisse tradit, ut 
Gallmae pinguescant. In culma, inquit, facias tibi 
capsam, plunbus mterstinctam capsulis, singulis 
cum suis foraminibus, per quae capita extrudere 
foras possmt Gallmae, cibumque capere. His 
itaque capsulis, Gallinae mvenes, vel pulli 
incarcerentur, singulae singulis: cibusque singulis 
horis offeratur, parum pro vice potu mterdicto. 
Cibus autem sit triticum in aqua modice elixum. 
Oportet autem capsulas mfenus esse pervias, ut 
excrementa permeare possmt singulis diebus 
diligenter auferenda. Caeterum ultra duas 
hebdomadas inclusas Gallinas esse non oportet: 
prae nimia enim pinguedine interirent. Haec ille. 
Audio etiam apud eosdem populos insigmter 
pmguescere, et cito, si cervisia eis in potu 
apponatur pro aqua, item si reliquiis eiusdem 
cervisiae pascantur, sed et ova ita plura, 
maioraque, parere. 

Columella 621 , Plinius, et Florentinus 622 , cum ad 
partum promovendum, turn ad sagmandum, 
Cytisum miro modo {comedant} 

<commendant>, eamque propterea in agro 
haberi plurimum referre. Paucae enim regiones 
sunt, e quibus non possit eiusmodi arbuscula 
haberi. Columella eius folia {leiunis} 623 , 
seminaque maxime proban ait: et alibi 624 etiam 



extent, as well as humans eating them grow fat to 
such an extent that they burst. 

Johann Jacob Wecker* reports that he learned from a 
certain Dutchman the following secret about how 
hens grow fat. He says: in the kitchen you should 
make a box divided up into many little boxes, each of 
them with its own hole through which the hens can 
thrust their heads and take food. Then pullets or 
cockerels are imprisoned in these boxes, one pullet in 
each box: and food is given them hourly, on the 
contrary the drink is forbidden in dribs and drabs. 
Furthermore their food should be wheat a little 
soaked in water. Then it is advisable that 
compartments are open underneath so that the 
excrements may pass through and each day must be 
carefully carried away. The hens should not be shut 
up, however, for more than two weeks: for they may 
die from too much fat. Thus far Wecker. I also hear 
that among those same people they grow very fat and 
swiftly if beer is given to drink instead of water, 
likewise if they are fed on the dregs of beer, but thus 
they lay more and larger eggs as well. 

Columella, Pliny, and Florentinus especially 
recommend the cytisus* both for increasing eggs 
laying and for fattening, and therefore it is very 
advantageous to have it in the farm. For there are few 
regions from which a shrub of this kind cannot be 
obtained. Columella says its leaves and seeds are 
highly appreciated: and elsewhere declares that it is 
very useful not only for hens but for every kind of 



619 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 455: Si pingui lacertae, halinitro cyminoque farinam tritici miscueris, gallinae 
hoc cibo saginatae adeo pinguefaciunt homines, ut disrumpantur, Cardanus. 

620 De secretis liber VIII. 

621 De re rustica VIII,5,l-2: Confecta bruma parere fere id genus avium consuevit. Atque earum quae sunt fecundissimae locis 
tepidioribus circa Kalendas Ianuarias ova edere incipiunt, frigidis autem regionibus eodem mense post Idus. [2] Sed cibis idoneis 
fecunditas earum elicienda est, quo maturius partum edant. Optime praebetur ad satietatem hordeum semicoctum, nam et maius 
facit ovorum incrementum et frequentiores partus, et is cibus quasi condiendus est interiectis cytisi foliis ac semine eiusdem, quae 
maxime putantur augere fecunditatem avium. Modus cibariorum sit, ut dixi, vagis binorum cyathorum hordei. Aliquid tamen 
admiscendum erit cytisi, vel si id non fuerit, viciae aut milii. 

622 Aldrovandi — estremamente prolisso a proposito di certi argomenti, come quelli religiosi — stavolta e assai sintetico e non riporta 
il brano di Florentino citato da Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 432: Cibus illis est offerendus, elixum hordeum, 
aut milium aut frumenti furfur, aut zizania vocata lolium, quae quidem ad nutritionem est commodissima: ac humida folia cytisi. 
Haec enim eas maxime durabiles et firmas reddunt, (foecundiores potius. gonimotera, non monimotera^ Florentinus. 

623 Si tratta di un errore desunto da Gessner. Infatti Columella dice die se alia crusca non e rimasta attaccata affatto della farina, la 
crusca non e adatta e neppure gustata dalle galline, anche se digiune. Quindi ieiunis non ha nessuna attinenza con le foglie di citiso. 
Ecco il brano di Columella in cui compare ieiunis. De re rustica VIII,4,l-2: Cibaria gallinis praebentur optima pinsitum hordeum et 
vicia, nee minus cicercula, turn etiam milium aut panicum. Sed haec ubi vilitas annonae permittit; ubi vero ea est carior, excreta 
tritici minuta commode dantur. Nam per se id frumentum, etiam quibus locis vilissimum est, non utiliter praebetur, quia obest 
avibus. Potest etiam lolium decoctum obici, nee minus furfures modice a farina excreti, qui si nihil habent farris, non sunt idonei, 
nee tamen appetuntur ieiunis. [2] Cytisi folia seminaque maxime probantur et sunt huic generi gratissima, neque est ulla regio in qua 
non possit huius arbusculae copia esse vel maxima. Vinacea quamvis tolerabiliter pascant dari non debent, nisi quibus anni 
temporibus avis fetum non edit, nam et partus raros et ova faciunt exigua. — Ed ecco il brano di Gessner che ha coinvolto 
Aldrovandi nella citazione errata. Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 432: Ieiunis cytisi folia, seminaque maxime 
probantur, et sunt huic generi gratissima: neque est ulla regio, in qua non possit huius arbusculae copia esse vel maxima, Columella. 

624 De re rustica V, 12, 1: Cytisum in agro esse quam plurimum maxime refert, quod gallinis, apibus, ovibus, capris, bub us quoque et 
omni generi pecudum utilissimus est; quod ex eo cito pinguescit, et lactis plurimum praebet ovibus, turn etiam quod octo mensibus 



158 



non Gallims tan turn, sed omni pecudum generi 
utilissimum praedicat, quod ex eo cito 
pmguescat. Plinius {Aristomachum 625 } 

<Amphilochum> viridem cytisum Gallinis dari 
mbere scribit, aut si anient, madefactum. 
Denique Florentinus 626 eius semina, et folia anda 
aqua perfusa offerri praecipit quippe quae non 
minus quam vindia eas nutnant. Eiusmodi 
Gallmas, quae hoc modo sagmabantur, altiles, et 
farctas vocant, earumque nutritionem 
saginationem. lam vero non omnes aptas 
censebant teste Plinio 627 , sed eas tantum, quae 
pmguem in cervice cutem haberent. Sed quia 
nostra aetas Capos potius, quam Gallmas 
saginet, itaque eiusmodi victus Capis etiam 
praescribi potent, de quibus suo loco 628 post 
fusius dicemus. 

Quod si cibum respuant, fastidiantve, totidem 
diebus, inquit Varro 629 , minuere oportebit quot 
lam farturae processerint: ita tamen ne tempus 
omne opimandi qumtam, et vigesimam lunam 
supervemat. Idem Columella, Cato 630 , et reliqui 
Geoponici bis die cibum offerunt. Panim tamen 
refert, si plunes dedens: modo id observes, ut 
cruditatem vites, quod praestabis, si cum iterum 
cibum oblatunis, guttur examines: si enim prior 
descendit, iterum dandus alius, si non, 
nequaquam. Qui itaque saepe offene volunt, ut 



animals, because thanks to it they grow fat swiftly. 
Pliny writes that Amphilochus of Athens* - not 
Aristomachus of Soli* - recommends green cytisus be 
given to hens, or moist if it is dned up. Finally, 
Florentinus advises that its dry seeds and leaves 
soaked in water should be fed to hens, since they 
nourish them no less than the green ones. They call 
hens fattened in this manner altiles and farctae, and they 
call saginatio their nutrition. But on the other hand, 
according to Pliny, not all hens were considered 
suitable for fattening, but only those who had a fat 
skin on their necks. But since our age preferably 
fattens capons rather than hens, it is then possible to 
prescribe the same food also for capons, about whom 
I shall speak later more widely in its proper place. 



But if they reject food or show aversion for it, Vano 
says that it will be suitable to reduce it for as many 
days as they began to be fattened: in such a manner 
however that all the time devoted to fattening does 
not exceed twenty five lunar days. Columella, Cato*, 
and the other geoponics themselves give food twice a 
day. It matters little, however, if you feed them again 
and again: you must only to pay attention to this, that 
is, to avoid indigestion, which you can accomplish by 
inspecting their crop when you are about to give food 
again: for if the previous feeding has descended then 



viridi eo pabulo uti et postea arido possis. Praeterea in quolibet agro quamvis macerrimo celeriter comprehendit; omnem iniuriam 
sine noxa patitur. 

625 La notizia e senz'altro tratta da Gessner il quale commette un errore in cui cade owiamente anche Aldrovandi. L'errore di 
Gessner sta nell'attribuire l'impiego del citiso come se fosse una prescrizione di Aristomaco. Invece si tratta di una prescrizione di 
Anfiloco. Vediamo prima Gessner e poi Plinio. Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 432: Aristomachus viridem 
cytisum gallinis dari iubet, aut si aruerit madefactum, Plin. — Plinio Naturalis historia XIII,130-131: Frutex est et cytisus, ab 
Amphilocho Atheniense miris laudibus praedicatus pabulo omnium, aridus vero etiam suum, spondetque iugero eius annua HS 
MM vel mediocri solo reditus. utilitas quae ervo, sed ocior satias, perquam modico pinguescente quadripede, ita ut iumenta 
hordeum spernant. non ex alio pabulo lactis maior copia aut melio, super omnia pecudum medicina validas a morbis omnibus 
praestante. [131] quin et nutricibus in defectu lactis aridum atque in aqua decoctum potui cum vino dari iubet — firmiores 
excelsioresque infantes fore — , viridem etiam gallinis aut, si inaruerit, madefactum. apes quoque numquam defore cytisi pabulo 
contingente promittunt Democritus atque Aristomachus. 

626 A mio awiso in questo momento Aldrovandi sta dando forma a un pastone, miscelando idee di Florentino e prescrizioni 
personali di Gessner. Infatti costui, appena dopo aver citato Florentino, aggiunge considerazioni personali: Conrad Gessner, 
Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 432: ... non monimotera^ Florentinus. Cibis idoneis foecunditas earum elicienda est, quo maturius 
partum edant. Optime praebetur ad satietatem ordeum semicoctum. nam et maius facit ovorum incrementum, et frequentiores 
partus. Sed is cibus quasi condiendus est interiectis cytisi foliis ac semine eiusdem, quae utraque maxime putantur augere 
foecunditatem avium. Modus autem cibariorum sit, ut dixi, vagis binorum cyathorum ordei, aliquid tamen admiscendum erit cytisi, 
vel si supra etiam hoc in capite dictum est, non procul initio. 

627 Naturalis historialL,\40: Feminae quidem ad saginam non omnes eliguntur nee nisi in cervice pingui cute. 

628 A pagina 348. 

629 ]lj, rum rusticarum 111,9,21: Si in farciendo nimio cibo fastidiunt, remittendum in datione pro portione, ac decern primis processit, 
in posterioribus ut deminuat eadem ratione, ut vicesimus dies et primus sint pares. - Se nel periodo dell'ingrasso perdono l'appetito 
a causa dell'eccessivo cibo, bisogna ridurne la razione proporzionatamente in maniera che negli ultimi 10 giorni esso diminuisca con 
la stessa gradualita con cui ne e cresciuta la dose nei primi 10, e quella dell'ultimo giorno sia identica a quella del primo. 

630 De agricultura, 89: Gallinas et anseres sic farcito. Gallinas teneras, quae primum parient, concludat. Polline vel farina hordeacia 
consparsa turundas faciat, eas in aquam intingat, in os indat, paulatim cotidie addat; ex gula consideret, quod satis sit. Bis in die 
farciat et meridie bibere dato; ne plus aqua sita siet horam unam. Eodem modo anserem alito, nisi prius dato bibere et bis in die, bis 
escam. 



159 



Hollandus llle, de quo diximus, faciebat, parum 
exhibeant, idque facilis digestionis. 



Quod vero ad potum attinet: si farciantur, Cato 
mendie tantum dan praecipit, aquamque non 
plus, quam unam horam ante sinendam. Quae 
pariunt, et in corte divagantur, potum tota die 
postulant, isque nequaquam negandus, maxime, 
si aestus fuerit: sitis enim non aliter ac nobis 
hisce avibus nocet. Aqua autem mundissima 
sit 631 . Nam stercorosa pituitam concitat: quare 
cohors per quam vagantur, non tarn stercore, 
quam uligme careat: quae res cum 
diligentissimum etiam custodem nimia 
assiduitate stercus colligendi torqueret, aquam 
tamen interim mundissimam esse oporteat, vasa 
in hunc usum fabricata clausa habere debebit. Ea 
autem talia smt, qualia his verbis Columella 
descnbit. 



you must feed them again, otherwise not at all. 
Therefore those who, like that Dutchman of whom I 
spoke, wish to feed them often, they must give them 
little food and easy to digest. 

As far as drinking is concerned: if they are fattened, 
Cato advises drinking be given only at midday, and 
that water does not remain in front of them more 
than one hour. Those who are laying and wandering 
in the barnyard seek drinking all day long, and it 
should not be denied them nowise, especially in hot 
weather: for thirst harms these birds just as ourselves. 
But the water must be very clean. For if it is filthy 
with excrements causes the pip*, whence the yard in 
which they wander must be free not so much from 
dung as from moisture: this fact, while should 
torment the most careful keeper in order that he 
gathers the dung very assiduously, however at the 
same time it would be necessary that he arranges the 
water be very clean, and he must have available closed 
vessels made for this use. And they should be such as 
Columella describes them by the following words. 



Page 234 



{Sint} <Sunt>, in quit 632 , qui aut aqua replentur, aut 
cibo, plumbei canales, quos magis utiles esse, quam 
ligneos, [234] autfictiles compertum est. Hi supetpositis 
opercuRs clauduntur, et a lateribus super mediam partem 
altitudinis per spatia palmaria modicis forantur caiis, ita 
ut aiium capita {pussint} <possint> admittere. .Nam 
nisi opercuRs muniantur, quantulumcunque aquae, vel 
cibomm inest, pedibus {evertitur} <everritur>. Sunt qui 
a superiore parte foramina ipsis operculis imponant, quod 
fieri non oportet, nam supersiRens aiis proluiie ventris 
cibos, et aquam conspurcat. 

Eiusmodi vasa in Hollandia, sed fictilia, propter 
minorem impensam passim, cum agris ab 
agricolis, turn in urbibus fiunt, ut audio, sed 
aquam tantum, non autem cibum imponunt, 
vasaque singulis {hebdomatibus} 

<hebdomadibus> ad minus semel setaceo 



Columella* says: There are leaden troughs which are filled 
with either water or food, and which, it has been established, are 
more suitable than wooden or earthenware ones. They are closed 
by lids placed over them, and are pierced with small holes above 
the middle of their height a hand's span apart from each other, 
so that they admit the heads of the chickens. For if they are 
uncovered whatever small quantity of water or food that remains 
within will be swept out by their legs. Some people make holes 
in the upside of the covers themselves, which should not be done 
because by climbing on the chicken dirties food and water with 
what comes out from its belly. 

As I hear, vessels of this kind are prepared in Holland 
by farmers in the countries as well as in the cities, but 
made of earthenware since less expensive, but they 
place in them only water, no food, and once a week, 
at least, they clean these vessels with a tool made of 
bristles which because of language's poverty they call 



631 Columella De re rustica VIII,3,8-9: [8] Haec erit cohortalis officinae dispositio. Ceterum cohors ipsa, per quam vagantur, non tarn 
stercore quam uligme careat. Nam plurimum refert aquam non esse in ea nisi in uno loco quam bibant, eaque mundissima; 
stercorosa pituitam concitat. Puram tamen servare non possis nisi clausam vasis in hunc usum fabricatis. Sunt autem qui aut aqua 
replentur aut cibo plumbei canales, quos magis utiles esse ligneis aut fictilibus conpertum est. [9] Hi superpositis operculis 
clauduntur, et a lateribus super mediam partem altitudinis per spatia palmaria modicis forantur cavis, ita ut avium capita possint 
admittere. Nam nisi operculis muniantur, quantulumcumque aquae vel ciborum inest pedibus everritur. Sunt qui a superiore parte 
foramina ipsis operculis inponant, quod fieri non oportet. Nam supersiliens avis proluvie ventris cibos et aquam conspurcat. 

632 Columella De re rustica VIII,3,8-9: [8] Haec erit cohortalis officinae dispositio. Ceterum cohors ipsa, per quam vagantur, non tarn 
stercore quam uligine careat. Nam plurimum refert aquam non esse in ea nisi in uno loco quam bibant, eaque mundissima; 
stercorosa pituitam concitat. Puram tamen servare non possis nisi clausam vasis in hunc usum fabricatis. Sunt autem qui aut aqua 
replentur aut cibo plumbei canales, quos magis utiles esse ligneis aut fictilibus conpertum est. [9] Hi superpositis operculis 
clauduntur, et a lateribus super mediam partem altitudinis per spatia palmaria modicis forantur cavis, ita ut avium capita possint 
admittere. Nam nisi operculis muniantur, quantulumcumque aquae vel ciborum inest pedibus everritur. Sunt qui a superiore parte 
foramina ipsis operculis inponant, quod fieri non oportet. Nam supersiliens avis proluvie ventris cibos et aquam conspurcat. 



160 



quodam instrumento, quod indige<n>te 
sermone ab officio de wasser appellant, quasi 
lavatorem dicas, abstergunt, ne aqua intus fundo, 
marginibusque adhaerens putrescat; verum non 
in Gallmaceo genere tantum, sed in Columbaceo 
etiam, atque ab hoc nomen obtinere, dici autem 
Duvepotten, id est, vasa Columbacea. Caeterum 
cum vino aspergi cibum ante ex veteribus 
rusticae artis scriptores dixerint, agricolas in 
pnmis monitos velim, ut a vino, aut ems faecum 
vapore collecto vi ignis liquore abstineant. Is 
enim Gallims pestifer, let{h}alisque existimatur, 
uti etiam ms e carne salsa. 

NATURA. MORES. 
INGENIUM. 

Gallmae teste Aristotele 633 , ut reliquae aves non 
altivolae, pulveratrices sunt. Impendio autem 
pulvere gaudent. Unde dicebat Ephesius 
Heraclitus 634 coeno sues {laetari} <lavan> 635 , 
velut cohortales pulvere, aut cmere. Id vero 
tnplicem maxime ob causam faciunt, ut scilicet 
ita sese volutando velut quodammodo scabant, 
plumas, pmnasque emendent, et pulices 
excutiant. Quae omnia alio modo se praestare 
non posse optime norunt natura docente. Cuius 
ductu etiam quietum ad pariendum requirunt 
locum, et cubilia sibi nidosque construunt, 
eosque quam possunt mollissime substernunt, 
quasi non ignorent ova alias facile collidenda in, 
si ea in duriori loco ponerent. Sed in eo non tarn 
ingenii sui acumen produnt, quam cum lam 
pullos excluserunt, quos ita tueri norunt, ut et 
pennis foveant, ne ab ambiente fngore, vel 
calore laedantur 636 . 



de wasser from its function, as you say washer, so that 
inside the water adhering to bottom and sides does 
not putrefy. To tell the truth they use them not only 
for gallinaceous genus but for pigeons too, and hence 
they take their name, for they are said duvepotten, that 
is, dove vessels. Furthermore, since the ancient 
writers on agriculture said the food be sprinkled with 
wine, first of all I would like to warn farmers to 
abstain from wine or from the liquid obtained with 
fire's strength by the condensation of the vapor 
coming from wine's dregs. For this is regarded as 
dangerous and lethal to hens, as well as the broth of 
salted meat. 

CHARACTER - BEHAVIOR 
INTELLIGENCE 

According to Aristotle*, like the other not high-flying 
birds, hens are dust-bathing. They enjoy the dust very 
much. Hence Heraclitus of Ephesus* said that pigs 
wash themselves with mud as barnyard fowls with 
dust or ashes. And they do this particularly for three 
reasons, and precisely, when they roll about in the 
dust, for scraping themselves in some way, for 
cleaning their plumes and feathers, and for getting rid 
of lice*. Under the lessons of Nature, they 
outstandingly learnt that they cannot obtain all these 
things in a different way. Under Nature's guidance 
they also seek a quiet place in which to lay their eggs 
and build sleeping places for themselves and nests, 
and cover them as softly as possible, as knowing that 
eggs would easily collide each other if they laid them 
on a harder place. But in this matter they don't show 
their wit's sharpness as when hatched by then their 
chicks, whom they knew to defend to such an extent 
that they protect them also by the use of their feathers 



633 Historia animalium IX,634 b4: cAeiCtopiC, ... KCU KOVVOVTCU KCU A.OUVTCU. 

634 Eraclito di Efeso, Sulla natura, fr. 37 Diels-Kranz. — Citato da Columella De re rustica VIII,4,4: Siccus etiam pulvis et cinis, 
ubicumque cohortem porticus vel tectum protegit, iuxta parietem reponendus est, ut sit quo aves se perfundant. Nam his rebus 
plumam pinnasque emundant, si modo credimus Ephesio Heraclito, qui ait sues caeno, cohortales aves pulvere lavari. 

635 A pagina 230 Aldrovandi non dice che i maiali e i polli gioiscono - laetari - ma che si lavano, cioe lavari: Nam his rebus, inquit 
plumas, pennasque emundant, si modo credimus Ephesio {Heracleto} <Heraclito>, qui ait, sues coeno, aves cohortales pulvere vel 
cinere lavari. - Si puo presumere che l'esatta versione dell'affermazione di Eraclito di Efeso sia il fatto che tanto i maiali quanto i 
polli si lavano, come riferisce anche Conrad Gessner in Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 383: Dixit Ephesius Heraclitus sues 
coeno lavari, velut cortales aves pulvere aut cinere, siquidem hisce rebus plumam pinnasque emundari. 

636 Aldrovandi vende come sue queste considerazioni, che invece sono dovute a Cicerone* e che verosimilmente sono state dedotte 
dal testo di Gessner che correttamente cita come fonte Pierres Gilles*. Ecco la sequenza delle fonti taciute da Aldrovandi. — 
Cicerone De natura deorum II 129-130: lam gallinae avesque reliquae et quietum requirunt ad pariendum locum et cubilia sibi 
nidosque construunt eosque quam possunt mollissume substernunt, ut quam facillume ova serventur; e quibus pullos cum 
excuderunt, ita tuentur, ut et pinnis foveant, ne frigore laedantur, et, si est calor a sole, se opponant; cum autem pulli pinnulis uti 
possunt, turn volatus eorum matres prosequuntur, reliqua cura liberantur. [130] Accedit etiam ad nonnullorum animantium et 
earum rerum, quas terra gignit, conservationem et salutem hominum etiam sollertia et diligentia. Nam multae et pecudes et stirpes 
sunt, quae sine procuratione hominum salvae esse non possunt. — Conrad Gessner Historia animalium III (1555) pag. 423: Gallinae 
avesque reliquae, sicut Cicero ait, et quietum requirunt ad pariendum locum, et cubilia sibi nidosque construunt, eosque quam 
possunt mollissime substernunt, ut quam facillime ova ferventur. ex ovis pullos cum excluserunt, ita tuentur, ut et pennis foveant, 
ne frigore laedantur: et si est calor a Sole, se opponant. Cum autem pulli pennulis uti possunt, turn volatus eorum matres 
prosequuntur, Gillius. 



161 



Hos tanto prosequuntur amore, ut si noxium 
quodpiam animal, utpote vel Milvum, vel 
mustelam, vel maius etiam aliud eis msidiari 
viderint, vel aliquatenus cognoverint, receptis eis 
pnmum sub alarum umbra, seu tegumento sese 
acernmas tutrices opponant cum maximo 
clamore hostibus pavorem mcutientes, rostroque 
alls sese defendentes, adeo ut propnam mortem 
potius obire in pullorum tutelam, quam lllis 
hostibus relictis fuga salutem quaerere malint. 
Qua in re egregium nobis specimen exemplarque 
filios amandi praebent, turn etiam quando dum 
lllos pascunt, et cibos subinde collectos ore 
porngunt se suamque famem negligant. Quern 
amorem Homerus 637 sub Achillis persona olim 
descripsit. Hie enim suos, quos pro Graecis 
subierat labores, et pericula prae nimia in eos 
benevolentia conferens matricis avis (Gallinae 
nimirum per excellentiam) in pullos affectui, ita 
apud ilium loquitur. 

Q,q 8'opviq dcTtTfjcu {veooaolai} <veoaaoiai> 
Ttpocpeprjai 

MdaTocic', e7tei< >ke Ad(3r|ai. KaKooq 8'dpa oi 

TteAei oajtrj. 

Sicut autem avis implumibus pullis affert 

Escam postquam acquisiverit, male autem est ei ipsi. 

Citat haec verba alibi Plutarchus 639 , ubi haec eius 
verba leguntur {"On} <"Qa7tep> r| 'Op.r(piKT] 
opviq tcp eauTf^ Tpecpei Aip.co xa eyyova ical 
xr\v Tpocpf]v xf\c, yaatpoq a7tTop.evr|v, 
ocTtoKpatei kou Ttie^ei xa> ax6]Laxi, y.r\ Ad6r| 
KataTtioijaa. Gybertus Longolius sic vertit. 
Homerica avis sua fame parvulos natos pascit, et 
nutnmentum quod ventri suo destinaverat, ore 
retinet, ne eo in ventrem delapso in oblivionem 
ipsa adducatur. Sed lector, inquit Ornithologus, 
considerabit, an sic potius reddi debeant verba 
posteriora. Ventris sui alimentum ore tenens, 
abstinet tamen, et ne forte nolens etiam diglutiat 
mordicus premit. Ut ut est, verba ilia 
flagrantissimum Gallinae erga pignora amorem 



lest they be injured by surrounding cold or heat. 

They follow their chicks with such a great love that, if 
they saw any harmful animal, such as a kite* or a 
beech marten* or someone even larger animal laying 
an ambush for their little ones, or they recognized 
them at a certain distance, the hens first gather them 
under the shadow or covering of their wings, then 
place themselves in front of enemies like very fierce 
defenders, striking fear into their enemies by a 
frightful clamor, defending themselves with beak and 
wings, so that they would rather die in defense of 
chicks than seek safety in flight, leaving them at the 
mercy of the enemies. In this regard they give us an 
excellent example and pattern in love of offspring, 
also when they neglect themselves and their own 
hunger while they graze them offering with beak the 
food they have just got. Long ago Homer* described 
this kind of love in the character of Achilles* . For the 
former, comparing the labors the latter had 
undergone on behalf of Greeks as well as the dangers 
because of his exceeding kindness toward them, to 
the affection towards chicks of a bird which is mother 
(par excellence certainly to that of a hen), he speaks 
through him in this way. 

Hos d'ornis apte t si neossoisi prophe're]si 

Mdstak \ epeike ldbe\si. kakos d'dra oipelei aute t . 
For like the hen offers tofeatherless chicks 

the food after she got it, this fact goes against herself. 

Plutarch* cites these words in a passage, where the 
following his own words are read: Hosper he Homerike 
ornis to t heautes trephei lim§ l td eggona kai ten trophen tes 
gastrbs haptomenen, apokratei kai pie\ei to t stomati, me lathe \ 
katapiousa. - As the Homeric bird nourishes their 
chicks at the price of his own hunger and prevents the 
nourishment to reach his stomach, he holds it in his 
beak being afraid of swallowing it without his 
knowledge. Gisbert Longolius* translates as follows. 
The Homeric bird feeds its little young with its own 
hunger and the food she had intended for her own 
stomach she keeps in her mouth lest when it has 
descended thither she should be led to forget. But the 
Ornithologist says the reader will consider whether 
the last words should not rather be translated as 



rn 1 1 r^T7C 



1— Tr^ilriinrr f-h/=» fn,n,r\ fr\f h^>f ctnmorn 11- 



637 Iliade IX,323-24: Come ai pulcini il cibo portare un aligero suole, | quand'ei l'abbia trovato, clie nulla per lui ne rimane. 
(traduzione di Ettore Romagnoli) 

638 Questa inesattezza tipografica e stata tramandata da Aldrovandi die l'ha desunta sic et simpliciter da Conrad Gessner Historic! 
Animalium III (1555), pag. 423: 'Clc, S'opvvq axxrfsi {vsooooiav} <vsoaaoiav> Ttpocpeprjai | Mdataic', sTtev< >ks Ad(3r|av. 
K0ticcb<5 8'apa OV TteAsv CCUTrj, Achilles Iliad. V. suos quos pro Graecis subierat labores et pericula prae nimia in eos benevolentia, 
conferens matricis avis (gallinae nimirum per excellentiam) in pullos affectui, quos ilia dum pascit, et cibos subinde collectos ore 
porrigit, se suamque famem negligit. — Inoltre Aldrovandi ha scambiato la lettera iota che identifica il canto IX con il canto I 
dell'Iliade. Infatti nella nota a bordo pagina leggiamo: Iliad. I. Achilles Gallinis comparatus. 

639 In Italia, di Plutarco, e edito da D'Auria Uamore fraterno e I 'amore per i figli (a cura di A. Postiglione). Aldrovandi da come fonte il 
De amore parent, erga liberos che corrisponde a Moralia 494D = cap. 2 p. 494D. Plutarco non ha OTl ma COOTtsp. 



162 



testantur: de quo alibi idem Plutarchus 640 : 
vero Gallinae, mquit, quas observari nostris oculis 
quotidie domi conspicamur, quanta cura, et sedulitate 
pullos custodiunt, et gubernant? Aliis alas, quas subeant, 
remittunt; aliis dorsum, ut scandant, redinant: neque ulla 
pars corporis est, qua nonfovere illos, si possent, cupiant: 
neque id sine gaudio, et alacritate, quod et vocis sono 
testari tidentur. 



follows. Holding the food for her stomach in her 
mouth she nevertheless abstains from it and keeps it 
firmly lest she gulps it down even against her will. Be 
that as it may, those words testify a very ardent love 
of the hen toward her children. Plutarch himself 
wrote about it in another passage: What to say of the hen, 
whom we observe each day at home, with what care and 
solicitude they guard and lead their chicks? For some of them 
they let down their wings for the chicks to come under, for others 
they turn back their backs for them to climb up: and there is no 
part of their bodies with which they do not wish to protect them 
f they can: nor they do this without joy and enthusiasm, which 
they seem to testify by the sound of their voice. 



Page 235 



Canes, et angues (Ormthologus KipKouq, et 
8pdicovTa<; pro Kuveaq, et SpaKovtiaq ut 
vulgaris lectio habet forte legendum, summo 
mdicio comjcit. Canes enim parum expavescunt 
Gallinae: Circos reliquosque Accipitres [235] 
maxime) cum de se agitur, solisque sibi metuunt, 
fugiunt, turn quidem. Si vero pullomm agmini ab his 
periculum verentur, lindicare Mud ab iniuria nituntur, et 
supra quam tires patiuntur, saepe dimicant. Unim vero 
huiusmodi affectiones opinabimur istis animalibus 
ingenerasse naturam, de Gallinarum, Canum, Ursarum 
propagations soRcitam, non nobis hoc modo pudorem 
voluisse incutere? Nimirum reputantes ista naturam 
sequentibus exemplomm loco esse, duns autem suam 
exprob<r>are inhumanitatem, propter quos sola 
hominis incusatur natura, quod amorem gratuitum non 
ferat, neque nisi utilitatis causa diligere norit. 



Haud minor etiam profecto Galli erga totam 
Gallmaceam familiam amor est, ipseque nobis 
ven, optimique patrisfamilias exemplar est. Is 
enim non vigilem tantum sese suorum in primis 
praebet custodem, et mane, dum tempus est, ad 
quotidianum mvitat laborem, sed ipse primus 
exilit non tarn voce, quam reapse quid faciendum 
sit ostendens, ipse omnia verrit, omnia explorat, 
omnia dispicit, et simulatque aliquid escae nactus 
est, Gallmas, et pullos ad pascendum convocat, 
interim ceu pater quidam, et symposiarchus 
excelsus adstat, et ad epulandum mvitat, hoc 
unum semper curae habens, ut suis sit, quod 
edant. Interea ipse disquirit, ecquid in proximo 
repenat, quo reperto, rursus suam familiam citat 
alta voce. Accurrunt ilico. Ille sublimen se 
gerens, et undique circumspiciens, ecquid hostile 



When they are dealing with themselves and they fear only for 
themselves, only then they avoid dogs and snakes (very rightly 
the Ornithologist thinks that we must read kirkous — 
hawks* - and drdkontas - dragons, snakes - instead of 
kyne'as — dogs - and drakontias - little snakes - as the 
common reading reports. For hens not much fear 
dogs: to the highest degree the falconiforms of the 
genus Circus* and other hawks). But if they fear that a 
danger can follow from these enemies for their crowd of chicks, 
they struggle in avenging it for the offence, and often they fight 
beyond their own endurance. But if we will think that nature 
solicitous for the propagation of hens, dogs, and bears, infused in 
these animals such feelings, did she not wish by chance to strike 
shame into us in this way? It is no wonder that when we think 
over these facts which are examples for those following nature, 
but reproiing unfeeling men for their meanness, because of whom 
only human nature is blamed, for the latter does not bear a love 
without reward nor will learn to love except for sake of personal 



Undoubtedly no lesser is the love of the rooster 
toward the entire gallinaceous family, and he himself 
is for us an example of a true and best head of family. 
For he not only shows himself as a watchful guardian 
firstly of his family members, and in the morning, at 
the proper time, invites us to our daily labor, but he 
first sallies forth not so much by voice, as actually 
showing what must be done, and he himself sweeps 
everything, explores everything, looks into everything, 
and as soon as he came across some food, he calls 
both hens and chicks together to eat, while he stands 
present like a landlord and a perfect chief of a 
banquet, inviting them to feast, paying always 
attention to only a thing, that his family members 
should have food available. Meanwhile he investigates 
if he is able to find something nearby, and when he 
found it, he calls his family again in a loud voice. They 



640 Eodem libro paulo post. (Aldrovandi) 
parafrasi. (Roberto Ricciardi) 



Moralia cap. 2, 494E-F-495A. II testo greco e piu semplice; si tratta piuttosto di una 



163 



usquam appareat, totam cohortem circumit, et 
obiter granum aliquando unum sibi sumit, non 
citra invitationem, ut se sui sequantur. 



Unde apud Ausonium 641 proverbialiter legitur, 
Gallinaceus {Eudeonis} <Eudionis>, in eum qui 
omnia solet diligentissime perscrutari, et 
investigate, ne pulvisculo quidem relicto, donee 
id mvenerit, quod exquisita cura conquisiverat. 
Gallus vero turn ideo quoque amorem, 
benivolentiamque suam lllam mamfestat, dum se 
doloris, quo coniuges suas affici credit, 
consortem cantu longe alio, quam cucu<r>ritu, 
sed Gallmarum cantui simillimo {attestatnr} 
<attestatur>. Meminit eius Oppianus 642 his 
verbis: Galli partus Gallinamm levare, et doloris 
partidpatione solari tidentur, dum pladda, et exili voce 
eis accinunt: dissentiens in eo ab Aristotele 643 , 
quern Gallmas absque dolore parere, authorem 
esse supra diximus. Unde item Porphyrium 644 
falsum ita scnpsisse dicendum est: Maritus etiam 
inter bruta partus do/ores intelligit, et plurimi ex eis, 
parientibus faeminis condolent, ut Gallinacei: quidam 
etiam excubando iuvant, ut Columbi. Verum visus est 
aliquando Gallus, teste Aristotele 645 , mortua 
Gallma, eius munus obire, hoc est, vel mcubare 
ova, vel lam natos pullos educare, msigni sane 
benevolentiae signo. 

Quid vero de mgenio eius dicemus, quo certe 
plunmum valere quivis mento dixent, qui 
perspectam hums avis naturam habuerit. Proxime 
gloriam sentiunt, inquit Plmius 646 , et hi nostri ligiles 



run at once. He, stretching himself up and looking 
around anywhere in case somewhere is appearing 
something which could be regarded as an enemy, 
scours the entire barnyard, and now and again 
incidentally plucks up a gram for himself not without 
inviting his folks to follow him. 

That's why in Ausonius* we read the motto The rooster 
of Eudio, which is directed to the man who is 
accustomed to examine and investigate everything 
most diligently, not even neglecting a speck of dust 
until he has found that which he searched for with 
meticulous diligence. Truly therefore also the rooster 
reveals the love and that his fondness when, singing 
in a manner quite different from his crowing, but very 
similar to the hens' own song, he testifies that he is 
sharing the sorrow by which he believes his wives are 
filled. Oppian of Apamea* mentions this by these 
words: Roosters seem to relieve the hens' delivery, and to 
console them by partaking of their sorrow, when they sing, going 
along with them, by a quiet and thin voice: Oppian disagrees 
in this subject with Aristotle* who states that hens lay 
eggs without pain, as I said before. Therefore we must 
say that similarly Porphyrius* wrote a lie as follows: 
Even among beasts the male understands the delivery's pains, 
and many of them share the pain when the females are giiing 
birth, like roosters: some even help by incubation, as pigeons. In 
fact, according to Aristotle, sometimes, when a hen is 
dead, a rooster has been seen to take on her tasks, 
that is, or to incubate eggs, or to rear the already born 
chicks, undoubtedly as evident sign of fondness. 

But what shall I now say about his character, since 
anyone who has examined the nature of this bird 
could rightly say that it is of the highest strength. 

Pliny says: Nearly likewise - the peacocks - are longing for 



641 Griphus ternarii numeri 1: Latebat inter nugas meas libellus ignobilis; utinamque latuisset neque indicio suo tamquam sorex periret. 
Hunc ego cum velut gallinaceus Euclionis situ chartei pulveris eruissem, excussum relegi atque ut avidus faenerator inprobum 
nummum malui occupare quam condere. - Si tratta del gallo del vecchio avaro Euclione, il protagonista deWAulularia di Plauto*. 

642 Ixeutica. 

643 De generatione animalium 111,2 752a 31 sg.: Tuttavia non ci si accorge che cio che diventa guscio e in principio una membrana 
molle, e compitosi l'uovo diventa duro e secco in modo tanto tempestivo che esce ancora molle (procurerebbe altrimenti sofferenza 
a deporlo) e appena uscito, raffreddatosi si consolida, perche l'umido evapora velocemente data la sua scarsezza e rimane l'elemento 
terroso. (traduzione di Diego Lanza) 

644 De abstinentia ab animalibus III. (Aldrovandi) 

645 Historia animalium IX,49 631b 13-16: Ede de kai ton arrenon tines ophthesan apolomenes tes theleias autoi peri tus neottus ten 
tes theleias poiumenoi skeuorian, periagontes te kai ektrephontes utos oste mete kokkyzein eti met'ocheuein epicheirein. - E si sono 
visti persino alcuni maschi, essendo morta la femmina, prendersi essi stessi cura dei pulcini come la femmina, portandoli in giro e 
allevandoli cosicche non si mettono ne a cantare e neanche ad accoppiarsi. - lam vero mares quidam visi sunt amissa gallina, ipsimet 
apparatum ferre pullis: eos etiam circumducere et enutrire ita, ut non amplius cucuriant, aut veneri operam dent, (traduzione di 
Giulio Cesare Scaligero*) 

646 Natura/is historia X,46-47: Proxime gloriam sentiunt et hi nostri vigiles nocturni, quos excitandis in opera mortalibus 
rumpendoque somno natura genuit. Norunt sidera et ternas distinguunt horas interdiu cantu. Cum sole eunt cubitum quartaque 
castrensi vigilia ad curas laboremque revocant nee solis ortum incautis patiuntur obrepere diemque venientem nuntiant cantu, 
ipsum vero cantum plausu laterum. [47] Imperitant suo generi et regnum in quacumque sunt domo exercent. Dimicatione paritur 
hoc inter ipsos velut ideo tela agnata cruribus suis intellegentium, nee finis saepe commorientibus. Quod si palma contigit, statim in 
victoria canunt seque ipsi principes testantur; victus occultatur silens aegreque servitium patitur. Et plebs tamen aeque superba 



164 



nocturni, quos excitandis in opera mortalibus, 
mmpendoque somno natura genuit. Norunt sidera, et 
ternas distinguunt horns interdiu cantu. Cum Sole eunt 
cubitum quartaque castrensi ligilia ad curas laboremve 
revocant. Nee Solis ortum incautis sinunt obrepere, 
diemque venientem nunciant cantu, ipsum vero cantum 
plausu laterum. Imperitant suo generi, et regnum, in 
quacunque sunt domo, exercent. Dimicatione paritur hoc 
{quoque} inter ipsos, velut ideo tela agnata cruribus suis 
{intelligentes.} <intelligentium,> <nec finis saepe 
commorientibus. Quod si palma contigit, statim in 
lictoria canunt seque ipsi principes testantur; tictus 
occultatur silens aegreque senitium patitur. Et plebs 
tamen aeque superba graditur ardua cenice, cristis celsa, 
caelumque sola volucmm aspicit crebra, in sublime 
caudam quoque fialcatam erigens.> M1 Aelianus 648 
etiam non Soils tantum, sed Lunae etiam ortu 
laetan Gallmaceos scribit, ubi ait: Gallinaceum 
exoriente Luna, quasi divino quodam spiritu ajfilatum 
bacchari, atque exultare fiemnt. Oriens autem Sol 
nunquam ipsum fiallit turn vehementissima voce 
contendens, semet magis, magisque cantando vincere 
conatur. 



Res item summa admiratione digna est, Galium 
turn silentio uti, et pulchellam lllam suam vocem, 
cucu<r>ritum mquam, celare nosse, cum 
mortua Gallma coniuge sua, ipse ems officio 
fungens ova mcubat, quod id mulierem decere, 
et parum virile esse non ignoret, ut idem 
Aelianus 649 memoriae prodidit. Illud praeterea 
mgenio harum avium ascribendum est, quod 
cum sese copia sanguinis immoderati aggravari 
sentiunt, unguibus cristas tarn dm scalpant, 
donee illato vulnere sanguinis fluxum proliciant, 
atque ita ab immmentibus malis sibi ipsis medici 



glory also these our nightly guardians Nature created for 
arousing mortals to their labor and for breaking their slumber. 
They are acquainted with the stars and distinguish every three- 
hour period during the day with their crowing. They go to bed 
with the sun, and at the fourth camp watch (i.e. between 3 
and 6 o' clock) they recall us to our cares and labor. And 
they do not permit the sunrise to crep upon us unnoticed and 
announce the coming day with song, and the song itself is 
announced by flapping the wings. They rule over the animals of 
their genus and exercise, in whatever home they are, a sort of 
dominion. This sovereignty is obtained by dueling among 
themselves, as though they are aware of the weapons grown upon 
their legs, <nor the fighting has an end since often they die 
together. But if the palm of victory falls to them, they 
immediately sing as triumphant, immediately proclaim 
themselves as sovereigns. That who has been defeated hides in 
silence and reluctantly suffers the subjugation, however even the 
common flock, equally proud, walks with head held high, with 
erect comb. And the rooster is the only bird looking often at the 
sky, rising upwards also the sickle shaped tail> Aelian* 
writes also that roosters are delighted not only by 
sunrise but also by moonnse, when he says: They say 
the rooster at moonrise gets restless like cra^y and leaps about, 
as pervaded by a divine puff. He never fails to notice the sunrise 
and then applying himself with a vey strong voice he goes out of 
his way with singing to supass more and more himself. 

Likewise it is worthy of great amazement that the 
rooster keeps silent and knows how to conceal that 
his beautiful voice, I mean his crowing, when, being 
died the hen his partner, taking over her duties, he 
himself sits on the eggs, which he understands is 
befitting a female and that it is not much manly, as 
Aelian himself handed down. Moreover the following 
fact must be ascribed to the intelligence of these 
birds: when they feel themselves burdened with an 
immoderate supply of blood, they scratch their combs 
with their nails so long until they produce a flow of 
blood by the inflicted wound and, physicians of 



graditur ardua cervice, cristis celsa, caelumque sola volucrum aspicit crebra, in sublime caudam quoque falcatam erigens. Itaque 
terrori sunt etiam leonibus ferarum generosissimis. 

647 Aldrovandi, attraverso un quoque di piu, e attraverso intelligentes al posto di intellegentium, dichiara apertamente di aver copiato il 
brano da Gessner, ma a un certo punto lo amputa stupidamente, per riprenderlo a pag. 237. Questo non possiamo permetterlo. 
Poteva amputare ampiamente i nauseanti e ripetitivi Moralia di Gregorio Magno! - Per cui si procede a emendare il testo di Plinio. — 
Ecco invece il testo di Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 385: Imperitant suo generi, et regnum in quacunque sunt 
domo exercent. Dimicatione paritur hoc quoque inter ipsos, velut ideo tela agnata cruribus suis intelligentes: nee finis saepe 
commorientibus. Quod si palma contingit, statim in victoria canunt seque ipsi principes testantur. Victus occultatur silens, aegreque 
servitium patitur. Et plebs tamen aeque superba graditur ardua cervice, cristis celsa: coelumque sola volucrum aspicit crebro, in 
sublime caudam quoque falcatam erigens, Plinius. 

648 La natura degli animali IV,29: II gallo, cosi dicono, diventa particolarmente eccitato e saltella quando spunta la luna. Non 
lascerebbe mai passare inosservato il levar del sole; quando appare, egli supera se stesso nell'intonare il suo canto, (traduzione di 
Francesco Maspero) 

649 l^a natura degli animali IV,29: Morta la gallina, egli stesso cova, e fa schiudere i propri figlioletti standosene in silenzio; perche non 
canta in quel periodo di tempo e dovuto a un qualche motivo strano e misterioso, per Zeus; infatti mi sembra sia consapevole che 
cosi sta svolgendo le mansioni di una femmina e non di un maschio. 



165 



liberent. Plinius 650 similiter herbam, quae vocatur 
helxme agnoscere eos tradit, eaque sese dum 
indigent remedio, purgare. 



Haud ab re igitur D. lob 651 quaerebat{;} <:> Quis 
dedit Gallo intelligentiam? Verum istaec mtelligentia 
non rerum divmarum cognitio est, ut quispiam 
ex Plinn verbis, quae paulo ante adduximus, qui 
nimirum sidera nosse, etc. dixit, arguere possit, 
sed naturalis, quae tamen nee ipsa cum 
deliberatione constet. Quomodo etiam cum 
summa mdustria terram unguibus scalpendo 
victum quaent. Hoc scalpur<r>ire Plautus dixit 
de sepulta olla loquens 652 : Ubi erat haec (olla) 
defossa coepit ibi scalput<r>ire ungulis circum circa: 
veteres etiam ruspari, atque hinc eo verbo pro 
sedulo perscrutari utuntur: unde alibi 653 idem ait: 
Corruspare tua consilia in pectore. Alibi 654 denique 
facetissime eiusmodi ruspatiom scnptionem 
amasiae Cal{l}idon comparavit, quia nimirum 
difficulter ob male formatas literas legi poterat: 
ait autem. 

An obsecro Herc/e habent quoque Gallinae manus? 
Nam has quidem Gallina sctipsit. 



themselves, until they deliver themselves from 
imminent ills. Likewise Pliny reports that they know a 
herb called helxine - perhaps Parietaria officinalis*, 
Pellitory of the wall - and use it as a purgative when 
they need a remedy. 

Therefore not for no reason Saint Job* wondered: 
Who gave the rooster intelligence? To tell the truth, this 
intelligence is not knowledge of divine affairs, as 
someone might argue from Pliny's words, which I 
quoted a little while ago, that is, he said he is acquainted 
with the stars etc, but an intelligence of nature's affairs, 
which in itself does not arise from a decisional act. 
Alike he also seeks food by scratching with the 
greatest industry the earth with his nails. Plautus* 
called scalpunire - to scratch - this activity when 
speaking of the buried pot: Where this (pot) was buried, 
there he began to scratch all around with his nails. The 
ancients also used the word mspari, and therefore they 
use this verb with the meaning of very carefully to 
look for. Hence in another comedy he even says: To 
weigh carefully jour decisions in the mind. Finally, in another 
comedy, he has most wittily compared the writing of 
Calidorus' lover — the courtesan Phoenicium - with 
such a scratching, just because that bad writing could 
be read only with great difficulty on account of its 
badly formed letters: for Plautus - by means of 



Pseudolus* 



says: 



I begjou, by Hercules, do hens also have hands? 
For a hen wrote these (letters) undoubtedly. 



Page 236 



[236] Quorum verborum sensum, atque vim, nemo, 
quod sciam, omnium quotquot in Plautum 
commentati sunt, hactenus {assequutus} 
<assecutus> est. Audio autem apud Hollandos 
eiusmodi loquendi modum frequentissimum esse, ut 
videlicet scriptionem parum legibilem 

Hennescrapsel, hoc est, Gallmarum ruspationem 
vocent. Hetrusci pro ruspare dicunt sparnazzare, et 
metaphonce utuntur in prodigos sua abijcientes 
mutiliter. 

MAGNANIMITAS. PUGNA. 

Laus item Gallo maxima in animo plus< >quam 
regio, adeo ut Oppianus 655 avium omnium 



No one, so far as I know, has thus far fairly 
understood the sense and force of these words 
among all those who have commented upon the 
works of Plautus*. But I hear that among Dutch 
this manner of speaking is very common, so that 
they call a handwriting that is not very legible 
Hennescrapsel, that is, hens scratching. The people 
of Tuscany say spama^are for scratching and use 
it metaphorically for wastrels who uselessly throw 
away their own things. 

COURAGE - FIGHTING 

The greatest praise likewise belongs to the rooster 
for a spirit more than royal, so much so that 



650 Naturalis historia VIII,101: Palumbes, graculi, merulae, perdices lauri folio annuum fastidium purgant, columbae, turtures et 
gallinacei herba quae vocatur helxine, anates, anseres ceteraeque aquaticae herba siderite, grues et similes iunco palustri. 

651 Gia citato da Aldrovandi a pagina 186. - Giobbe 38,36: Chi ha messo nelle nubi la sapienza, o chi ha dato alle meteore 
l'intelligenza? (Fa Sacra Bibbia, Edizioni Paoline, 1958) 

652 Aulularia 467: Ubi erat haec defossa, occepit ibi scalpurrire ungulis circum circa. 

653 Fragment, apud Paul. ex. Festo (ed. by Mueller) 62. (Lind, 1963) 

654 Pseudolus 27-28 - PSEUDOLUS: An, opsecro hercle, habent quas gallinae manus? | Nam has quidem gallina scripsit. 

655 Ixeutica. 



166 



pugnacissimum vocare non sit veritus: cuius 
mmirum tarn excelsus animus est, tanta animi 
constantia, ut non vitae, quae omnibus animalibus 
carissima est, pencula tantum subire, sed perdere 
etiam earn malit, quam altenus imperium, mgumque 
vel ad unicum tantummodo tempons momentum 
pati. Scivit hoc Themistocles 656 , sciverunt maiores 
nostri, qui anniversanis {solenmbusque} 

<sollemnibusque> Gallorum pugnis {solenni} 
<sollemni> ritu mstitutis perpetuos nos esse 
voluerunt Gallorum imitatores. Aiunt vero non 
Leonem modo ad eorum cantum, sed basiliscum 
etiam expavescere: quod an verum sit, ut parvi refert, 
ita certum est nullum animal maion ammo, et 
excelsion vel caput cnstatum, et caudam erectam 
falcatamque gerere, vel certamen inire, in quo 
frequenter ante moritur, quam adversario cedat. 
Quare lure mento Marti bellorum, pugnarumque 
Deo sacer habitus fuerit, et proverbialiter 'Apeooq 
veoTToq, hoc est Martis pullus 657 vocatur: quasi ad 
bella, pugnasque magnopere propensus. 



Verum non in pugna tantum ammositas maxima ems 
elucescit, sed in coitu etiam: a quo (taceo modo, 
quod salacissimus sit, et unus multis uxoribus 
satisfaciens) cum omne animal tnstan soleat, solus 
ipse exhilarescit, et cantu alacritatem spintus 
attestatur: et Plato 658 author est, Galium degenerem 
ignavumque antequam vicent, canere. Nee fere ob 
aliam causam, quam propter uxorem pugnam mit, 
veritus ne alius amplexus earum llli clam suffuretur: 
unde senbit Athenaeus Gallinaceum alten mari cum 
Gallma coitum absque pugna non permittere: quare 
Alberto neutiquam credidenm, Gallos scnbenti, si 
multi sint, mmio coitu Gallinas enecare. Haud tamen 
interim inficias iverim eas a diversis Gallis iniri: nam 
id furtim fieri putavenm: simul vero degere, vel 
saltern simul cum Gallims coire, quod llle supponit, 
nun quam crediderim: quinim<m>o illud ego ex 
inspectione didici Galium unicum semper in uno 



Oppian of Apamea* did not hesitate to call him 
the most pugnacious of all birds: his courage is 
just so huge, so great is his strength of mind that 
he not only prefers to undergo to perils for life, 
which is very dear to all animals, but even to lose 
it rather than to endure the rule and the yoke of 
someone else for only so much as one moment of 
time. Themistocles* knew this, our ancestors 
knew this, who by the institution in a solemn rite 
of annual cockfights desired that we should be 
perpetual imitators of the roosters. For they say 
that not only the lion but the basilisk* itself is 
frightened at their crowing: as it doesn't matter 
whether this statement is true, as much it is 
certain that there is no animal with greater and 
loftier courage either bearing a combed head and 
an erect and sickle shaped tail, or entering battle, 
where he often dies rather than yield to an 
adversary. Therefore rightly he will have been 
regarded as sacred to Mars*, the god of wars and 
battles, and proverbially he is called A.re§s neottos, 
that is, chick of Mars as if greatly inclined toward 
wars and battles. 

In actual fact not only in battle does his exceeding 
courage shine forth but also in copulation: after 
which (I slightly point to the fact that he is most 
lustful and just one satisfies many females), 
although every animal is accustomed to droop in 
sadness, he alone cheers up and attests, by 
crowing, his ardor of spirit. Also Plato the 
comedy writer* is author of the statement that a 
pusillanimous and coward rooster sings before he 
won. Nor for almost any other cause than for his 
female does he enter battle, fearing lest he is 
without knowledge robbed of another mating 
with their partners. Hence Athenaeus* writes that 
a rooster will allow no other male to copulate with 
a hen without a fight. Therefore I did not quite 
believe Albertus* when he writes that when there 
are many roosters they kill the hens with too 
much copulation. By no means, however, I am 



656 Eliano Varia historiae Libri XIIII - 11,28: UNDE CERTAMEN GALLORUM GALLINACEORUM INITIUM TRAXERIT - Post devictos 
Persas, Athenienses lege posuerunt, ut galli gallinacei quotannis uno die certamen in theatro inirent. Unde vero sumpserit 
occasionem haec lex, planum faciam. Cum Themistocles civicum exercitum adversus barbaros educeret, gallos gallinaceos vidit 
pugnantes: neque ille spectatorem sese oscitantem eius pugnae praebuit. Sed totum exercitum cohibens, inquit ad ipsos: At hi neque 
pro patria, neque pro dijs familiaribus, neque vero pro avitis heroibus periculum subeunt, neque pro gloria, neque pro libertate, 
neque pro liberis: sed tantum, ne alter ab altero superetur, aut alter alteri cedat. Quibus verbis Atheniensium animum confirmavit. 
Quod ergo tunc eis incitamentum ad virtutem extitit, voluit ad similium rerum et factorum memoriam sempiternam consecrare. 
(Claudii Aeliani opera quae extant omnia Graece 'Latineque, Tiguri, apud Gesneros Fratres, 1556, pagina 394 — Iusto Vulteio Wetterano 
interprete) 

657 In base a quanto riferito da Conrad Gessner, tiistoria Animalium III (1555), pag. 407, Areos neottos proviene da Aristofane*: Gallus 
sacer erat Marti, et in templis dedicabatur, Eustathius. Hinc forte Aristophanes in Avibus gallum ApSCO<5 VSOTTOV, hoc est Martis 
pullum cognominat. Scholiastes quidem sic vocari ait, tanquam fortem et pugnacem. — Aristofane Aves 834-35. Platone 
commediografo* fr. 104 K a proposito di Pisandro*. 

658 p orse ne J frammento 104 kock. 



167 



loco imperium habere, et in alios, si forte clam, ut 
clixi, cum uxorum suarum aliqua coiennt, vel coire 
tentaverint, acnter animadvertere: uncle item 
adagium extat satis tnviale, Gallus in suo sterquilinio 
plurimum potest, quod scnptum est in ludicro 
Senecae 659 : videtur autem innuere quemlibet in 
alieno solo timidiorem esse, et in suo regno 
ferociorem, et animosiorem. In quo pariter sensu et 
lllud notum est: Domi pugnans more Galli 660 in illos, qui 
domi nxantur, quum fons smt placidissimis monbus: 
unde dicebat Plinius 661 : Imperitant suo generi, et regnum 
in quacunque domo sunt, exercent. Dimicatione {pariter} 
<paritur> hoc {quoque} inter ipsos velut ideo tela agnata 
cruribus suis intelligentes, nee finis saepe {nisi} 
<com>morientibus. Quod vero ait sapientissimus 
virorum Salamon: Gallus ambulans inter Gallinas laetus: 
id pariter Eucherius imperii significationem esse 
dicit. 



Hoc item ceu magnificentiam, animique 
celsitudmem arguit, quod nunquam sui ineundi 
copiam faciat absque atrocissimo certamine, ut 
Athenaeus 662 author est. Denique et illud quod idem 
author ibidem testatum reliquit, et quotidiana 
expenentia comprobat, quod scilicet quascunque 
aedium fores mgressurus, enstam submittat. Quod 
ab Aeliano 663 fortassis mutuatus Athenaeus fuerit, 
quia ita scribit: Illud item in eo mirificum, cum limen 
intrat, tametsi superum altissimum existit, is tamen 
sese mclmat: quod quidem ipsum superbia inductus 
facere videtur, ne scilicet crista uspiam offendatur. 



not inclined to deny that hens are trodden by 
different roosters, for I would think this is done 
furtively; but that they live together or at any rate 
copulate with hens together, as Albertus adds, I 
could never believe, but on the contrary I learned 
by observation that only one rooster always holds 
the rule in just one place, and that he fiercely 
punishes other roosters if perchance in secret, as I 
said, they copulated or tried to copulate with 
anyone of his females. Hence equally arises a 
rather common adage, A rooster is extremely powerful 
in his own dunghill, which was written in the satire 
of Lucius Annaeus Seneca*, since he seems to 
hint that whoever is more timid on alien ground, 
but more fierce and courageous in his kingdom. 
In the same meaning is also known that other one 
adage: Fighting at home in the fashion of a rooster, 
addressed to those are scuffling at their home, 
while outdoor are behaving very quietly: whence 
Pliny* said: They rule over the animals of their genus and 
exercise, in whatever home they are, a sort of dominion. 
This sovereignty is obtained by dueling among themselves, 
as though they are aware of the weapons grown upon their 
legs, nor the fighting has an end since often thy die 
together. This is what Solomon*, wisest of men, 
says: The rooster walking joyfully among hens: which 
Saint Eucherius* also says is a signification of 
ruling. 

He too shows, so to say, nobility and generosity 
of spirit because he never gives the possibility to 
be mounted without a very fierce fighting, as 
Athenaeus* says. Finally, also what the same 
author has left testified in the same work, and 
daily experience proves, that is, he lowers his 
comb when he is on the point of enter through 
whatever door of a building. This statement 
Athenaeus probably borrowed from Aelian* 
because the latter writes thus: Likewise in him a 
thing is extraordinary, when he enters a doorway, 
nevertheless the top is very high, however he 
bows: but it seems that he does so led by 
haughtiness, that is, in order that the comb is not 
damaged in some point. 



659 Apocolocyntosis 7,3: Claudius ut vidit virum valentem, oblitus nugarum intellexit neminem Romae sibi parem fuisse, illic non 
habere se idem gratiae: gallum in suo sterquilino plurimum posse. 

660 Confronta Pindaro* Olimpiche XII 20-21 SvSopd^aq at'&AilCTCOp | 0UJ>J>6vcp Ttap'eatia. 

661 Naturalis historia X,46: Imperitant suo generi et regnum in quacumque sunt domo exercent. Dimicatione paritur hoc inter ipsos 
velut ideo tela agnata cruribus suis intellegentium, nee finis saepe commorientibus. 

662 Liber 9. (Aldrovandi) — IX,46,391e: [...] combattono fra loro e il vincitore monta continuamente il vinto [cfr. Aristotele HA IX 
614 a7]. Si racconta anche che il gallo, per qualunque porta passi, piega la cresta e non permette ad altri l'accoppiamento senza 
combattere. - vaTopsiTcu 8e otv ... xf\c, or^eiac, etepep 8'i)(;a pd^rjq ov itapa^copsi. 

663 La natura degli animali IV,29: Anche questo tratto del suo carattere e indubbiamente meritevole di ammirazione: quando varca la 
soglia di una porta, anche se questa e molto alta, si china e lo fa con molto sussiego, come se in tal modo volesse proteggere la sua 
cresta. 



168 



His, si placet, adde, quod pro cans uxoribus, 
pignoribusque suis adversus serpentes, Milvos, 
mustelas, et eiuscemodi feras alias, vinliter decertet, 
et nos ad simile certamen, ubi sese occasio offerat, 
invitet. Hieronymus Cardanus 664 Galium ideo 
decantatissimo llli parricidarum culeo, una cum 
serpente, cane, et simia msen a Romanis existimabat, 
quod superbissimus sit, vel ob gentis similitudinem: 
quod ipsum Scaliger 665 ex mscitia historiarum 
credidisse tradit, quoniam Gallis nondum notis ilia 
lex scripta fuisset: sed nee hie rem acu tetigit. 
Quomodo enim Galium includere potuere Romani 
nondum notum? Quare ego post suo loco 666 veram, 
ni fallor, ems rationem assignabo. 



Quod vero ad pugnam Gallorum attinet, ad quam 
vel imago eorum in speculo tantum conspecta eos 
invitat, teste Athenaeo 667 , ea singulan non caret 
artificio. 



To these characteristics add, if you like, the fact 
that he bravely fights for his dear wives and sons 
against serpents, kites*, beech martens* and other 
beasts of this sort, and invites us to a similar 
combat when the opportunity arises. Gerolamo 
Cardano* therefore thought the rooster was shut 
up by Romans into that very renowned leather 
bag of the parricides - culleus* - together with the 
snake, the dog and the monkey, because he is very 
haughty or because of his similarity to the Gallic 
people*: the latter view Giulio Cesare Scaligero* 
reports as believed on account of ancient 
ignorance of history, since that law had been 
written before the Gauls were known. But even 
he did not touch on a sore point. For how could 
Romans have shut up a Gaul when he was not yet 
known? Therefore, I shall assign, if I am not 
mistaken, the true reason of this later on. 

As far as roosters' fighting is concerned, to which 
invites them as an image of themselves seen only 
in a mirror, according to Athenaeus, it does not 
lack a singular ability. 



Page 237 



Dum enim pugnant, naturae ductu terram feriunt, et 
plumas [237] circum collum erigunt, pennasque 
caudae, quantum possunt, sursum, atque 
d<e>orsum vibrant, assilientes interim, quo magis 
calcanbus suis, quae ob id ceu tela in cruribus 
agnata, teste Plmio 668 , agnoscunt, hostem feriant: 
unde legas apud antiquissimum Lucilium 669 hos vel 
versus, vel versuum fragmenta. 

Gallinaceus cum victor se Gallus honeste 
Sustulit in digitos, primoresque erigit ungues. 

Ubi, teste Nonio, primores ungues pro antenonbus 
dixit: quod non putem, cum non lis unguibus, sed 
calcanbus dimicent, quae etsi in posterioribus 
tibiarum partibus fere sita sint, inter insiliendum 
tamen, cum scilicet adversarios feriunt, iis ita uti 
norunt, ac si ad anteriora locata forent. Ab eiusmodi 
certamme vulgare extat adagium: Gallus insilit, in 



For while fighting they strike the earth on natural 
instinct and erect the plumes around their necks, 
vibrating the feathers of their tail up and down as 
much as they can, in the meantime launching an 
attack they wound the enemy chiefly with their 
spurs, which, as Pliny* reports, because of this 
they realize to be as weapons grown on their legs: 
hence you may read in the very ancient Lucilius* 
these either verses, or fragments of verses: 
When a rooster is victorious he leans on his toes with dignity, 
and raises the forepart of his nails. 

Where, according to Nonius Marcellus*, he said 
primores nails for the fore nails: which I do not 
believe, because they fight not with these nails but 
with spurs, which, although located at the rear of 
tarsometatarsus, nevertheless, when they are 
attacking, that is, when striking their adversaries, 
they learnt to use them as located in front. From 



664 De subtilitate liber X. (Aldrovandi) 

665 HLxotericarum exercitationum liber quintus decimus: de subtilitate, ad Hieronymum Cardanum (1557), exercitatio 240 An sui generis quicquam 
vorent animalia. Canes, alia. 

666 A pagina 240. 

667 Clearco di Soli (scrittore greco del IV-III sec. aC discepolo d'Aristotele) frammento 36W in Deipnosophistai IX,42,389f: i galli 
"dalla falsa immagine riflessa <in uno specchio> sono soltanto spinti al combattimento". 

668 Naturalis historia X,47: Imperitant suo generi et regnum in quacumque sunt domo exercent. Dimicatione paritur hoc inter ipsos 
velut ideo tela agnata cruribus suis intellegentium, nee finis saepe commorientibus. 

669 Lucilius, in E. Warmington, Remains of old Latin: Loeb Classical Library. Ill (1938), 100, frag. 328-29; F. Marx, C. Lucilii Carminum 
Reliquiae (Leipzig, 1904), I, p.22, frag. 300. (Lind, 1963) 



169 



eum, qui semel victus redmtegrat certamen: quod 
sane saevissimum conspicitur: unde dicebat D. 
Augustinus 670 : Cum ecce ante fores advertimus Gallos 
Gallinaceos ineuntes pugnam nimis acrem. Et paulo post 
pugnam ita describit: Ut in eiusdem ipsis Gallis erat 
lidere intenta proiectius capita, inflatas comas, vehementes 
ictus, cautissimas evitationes, et in omni motu animalium 
rationis expertium nihil non decorum: quippe alia ratione 
desuper omnia moderante: postremo legem ipsam lictoris, 
superbum cantum, et membra in unum quasi orbem collecta, 
velut infastum dominationis. 



Sed doctissime idem certamen hisce versibus quam 
breviter Angelus Politianus 671 complexus est: 
Et regnum sibi Marteparant, quippe obvia rostris 
Rostra ferunt, crebrisque acuunt assaltibus iras. 

Ignescunt animis, et calcem cake repulsant 

Infesto: adversumque, affligunt pectore pectus. 

Victor ovans, cantupalmam testatur, et hosti 

Insultans ticto, paiidum pede calcat iniquo. 

Ilk silet, latebras que petit, dominumque superbum 

Ferregemit: comes it merito plebs caetera regi. 



Quanquam etemm Gallus animal natura pugnax est, 
ac magnammum, ut diximus, ubi tamen se sen tit 
imparem in conflictu, mire deiectus, ac supplex 
profugit, seseque occultat pudore suffusus, risum 
spectatoribus movens. Ita apud Theocritum 672 
{Amyntas} < Amicus > Pollucem ad certamen 
provocans. Tuns, inquit, ego, tu meus (nimirum victus) 
vocabere, quia cpoiviicolXocpcov, id est, alitum 
rubricristatarum talia sunt certamina. Signum autem licti, 
inquit D. Augustinus 673 , elatas a cenice pennulas, et in 
voce, atque motu<,> deforme{,} totum et eo ipso naturae 
bus, nescio quo<d> concinnum, etpukhrum. 



such a manner of fighting a common proverb 
arises: The rooster is attacking, said of him who, once 
as been defeated, renews the combat: which is 
regarded as a very relentless thing indeed: hence 
St. Augustine* said: When, lo, in front of the threshold 
we observe the roosters beginning a too much fierce fight. 
And, a little later, he thus describes the combat: 
As in his own roosters it was possible to see the heads 
stretched forward more markedly, their hackle swollen, the 
violent strokes, the very quick standing aside, and in every 
motion of these animals unprovided with reason there was 
nothing improper, since another kind of reason is guiding 
from above everything: in short, the law itsef of the tictor, 
the proud crow and the limbs gathered together, so to say, 
in a circular movement, as in an ostentation of absolute 
power. 

But Angelo Poliziano* summarized very cleverly 
and briefly such a combat in these verses: And they 
get the kingdom for themselves by means of fighting as they 
strike beaks to beaks and sharpen their anger with 
frequent assaults. They bum in pint and drive back the 
heel with a hostile heel, and hit with the breast the opposite 
breast. The jubilant victor declares the victory by his 
crowing, and leaping on the defeated enemy he tramples the 
faint-hearted with his cruel foot. The latter keeps silent 
seeking a hiding place, and moans because he must stand a 
haughty master, the rest of the flock of necessity goes along 
with the king. 

Although the rooster is a pugnacious animal by 
nature, and magnanimous, as I said, nevertheless 
when in a combat is feeling himself inferior he 
flees very disheartened and suppliant, and hides 
himself filled with shame, arousing the laughter of 
the observers. Thus in Theocritus*, Amycus*, 
when challenging Pollux* to a contest, says: I shall 
be called yours, you shall be called mine (victim, of 
course), because such are the contests of the 
phoinikolophon, that is, of red-combed birds. St. 
Augustine says: The signal of the conquered are the 
ruffled feathers of the neck, and in the voice and in the 
moiing manner, a total deformation, and just because of 
this, according to the laws of nature, something of graceful 
and beautiful is lying. 



670 De ordine, tomus I, liber I. (Aldrovandi) 

671 Rusticus 392-399. 

672 M//z'XXII 71-72: <'Ap.> abc, pev ej>co, av 8'epoc, iceicAifyjeai, cu ks KXaxr\aa>. <IIoA.> opvvBcov cpovvvKoAocpcov toiovSs 



KX>8oiflo{. 

673 Loco citato. (Aldrovandi) - Cioe, De 



', tomus I, liber I. 



170 



Idem scnbunt Plinius 674 , et Aelianus 675 : quorum 
{hie} <ille>: Quod si, inquit, palma contingit, statim in 
tictoria canunt, seque ipsi printipes testantur. Victus 
occultatur si/ens, aegreque senitium patitur, et pkbs tamen 
aeque superba graditur, ardua cenice, cristis celsa. Caelumque 
sola volucmm {aspicit, crebro) <aspidt crebra,> in sublime 
caudam quoque falcatam erigens. {Hie} <Hic> vero 
clarius: Quod si, inquit, cum altero pugnans lincatur, 
idcirco non canit, quod ex ilia mala pugna spiritus fracti Mi 
vocem supprimant. Cuius offensionis verecundia confusus in 
primam quamque latebram sese occultat. Sed si ex certamine 
tictoriam reportaiit, turn oculomm eminentia, turn cenice 
erecta simul et cantus contentione insolenter effertur et 
triumphantis similis est. 



Hallucmatur lgitur alibi Aristophanis interpres, 
quando a Gallo victo victorem insectari scribit. 
Fugere autem victum ipsum Aristophanem minime 
latuisse, ex proverbiali istoc, quod alibi 676 protulit, 
dicto, est manifestum ]Ttr|oaei 677 <Dpt5vv)(oc; ooaTtep 
aAeKTcop, id est, horret Phrynichus sicut Gallus. Fuit 
autem hie Phrynichus 678 Melanthae filius, 
Atheniensis tragoediarum scriptor, quern 
Athenienses mille drachmis mulctarunt, quod 
Milesiorum excidium tragoedia complexus esset. 
Meminit eiusdem adagn Plutarchus 679 , qui cum antea 
fuisset ferox{,} et insolens<,> 680 ex Socratis 
familiantate, cuius singularem integntatem 
suspiciebat, coepit esse mansuetus ac modestus. 



Pliny and Aelian* say the same thing: the former 
writes: But if the palm of victoty falls to them, they 
immediately sing as triumphant, immediately proclaim 
themselves as sovereigns. That who has been defeated hides 
in silence and reluctantly suffers the subjugation, however 
even the common flock, equally proud, walks with head 
held high, with erect comb. And the rooster is the only bird 
looking often at the sky, rising upwards also the sickle 
shaped tail. But the latter says more clearly: But if he 
has been beaten in combat with another, he does not sing 
because the broken pride by that bad fight makes him lose 
his voice. Troubled by the shame of such a setback he hides 
himself in the first hole coming within range. But if from 
the combat he achieved the tictoty, both by the prominence 
of the eyes and by holding the neck upright along with a 
crowing doggedness he haughty boasts and becomes similar 
to a triumphant. 

The interpreter of Aristophanes* therefore goes 
astray elsewhere when writes that the conqueror is 
chased by the defeated rooster. That Aristophanes 
was not in the dark about the fact that the 
defeated flees is clear from this proverbial saying 
he quoted in a work Pteosei Phrynichos hosper alektor, 
that is, Phrynichus quakes like a rooster. Well, this 
Phrynichus* 



was 



son of Melantha and an 
Athenian writer of tragedies whom the Athenians 
fined a thousand drachmas because he described 
in a tragedy - The defeat of Miletus — the mass 
slaughter of the inhabitants of Miletus*. Plutarch* 
mentions the same adage, because he 
Alcibiades* - while formerly had been arrogant 



674 Naturalis historia X,47: Quod si palma contingit, statim in victoria canunt seque ipsi principes testantur; victus occultatur silens 
aegreque servitium patitur. Et plebs tamen aeque superba graditur ardua cervice, cristis celsa, caelumque sola volucrum aspicit 
crebra, in sublime caudam quoque falcatam erigens. 

675 La natura degli animali IV, 29: Un gallo sconfitto in un combattimento clie lo oppone a un altro gallo non potrebbe piu cantare; si 
sentirebbe troppo abbattuto nello spirito e andrebbe a nascondersi per la vergogna. Se invece vince, diventa spavaldo, rizza il collo e 
si da le arie di un trionfatore. (traduzione di Francesco Maspero) 

676 Le vespe, 1490. (Lind, 1963) 

677 Questo verbo - TtTrjOOCO - viene riportato da Gessner nel suo Lexicon graecolatinum (1537), ma e assente nei dizionari correnti 
dove al suo posto - nel senso di rintanarsi, farsi piccolo per la paura o sbigottito o preso da terrore - troviamo TtTrjOOCO derivato da 
TtSTO]ICU = io volo. Da notare clie TtTTJOKJ anche nel lessico di Gessner significa il volo. 

678 Se ne parlera anche a pagina 273. - Vedi Eliano Variae historiae Libri XIIII - XHL17: PROVERBIUM, ET DE PHRYNICHO - 
Vesparum examen metuit Phrynichus velut gallinaceus: proverbium convenit in eos, qui damnum patiuntur. cum enim Phrynichus 
tragicus Mileti captivitatem ageret, Athenienses metuentem perhorrescentemque lachrymantes eiecerunt. (Claudii Aeliani opera quae 
extant omnia Graece Latineque, Tiguri, apud Gesneros Fratres, 1556, pagina 501— Iusto Vulteio Wetterano interprete) 

679 Life of 'Alcibiades* 4.3. (Lind, 1963) 

680 La posizione di una virgola puo far cambiare il senso della frase. II merito di questa correzione lo dobbiamo a Gessner. Stando 
alia punteggiatura di Aldrovandi, sembrerebbe clie Alcibiade fosse tracotante a causa della familiarita con Socrate. Invece accadde 
l'opposto: dopo essere diventato intimo di Socrate, Alcibiade comincio a moderarsi. - Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III 
(1555), pag. 410: Meminit huius et Plutarchus in Alcibiade, qui cum antea fuisset ferox et insolens, ex Socratis familiaritate coepit 
esse mansuetus ac modestus. — Lind addirittura non ha capito — dalla nota a bordo pagina di Aldrovandi — che si trattasse di 
Alcibiade. Secondo Lind si tratta di un uovo non meglio identificabile: "Plutarch mentioned the same adage of a man who, fierce 
and insolent before, became gentle and modest "when, through association "with Socrates, he learned to know that philosopher's 
singular integrity of character." 



171 



Citat autem hunc senarium 681 e quopiam poeta. 
"ETttril'aXeKTcop coc, xXivac, Tttepov, id est, 
Paiidus refugit more Gallinacei 
Cum lictus alas ilk submittit suas. 



Usurpatur vero id adagium in male affectum, et 
commotum, aut etiam pavitantem. nTrjaaeiv enim 
Graecis fugitare sigmficat, atque expavescere. 
Peculialiter autem de avibus dicitur. Similiter 
superatus es a Gallo quopiam: locus 682 proverbialis 
dicitur in servos, qui dominos a tergo sequuntur, 
supplices videlicet, et abiecti, cuiusmodi nimirum 
solent esse Galli superati in pugna. Non tamen 
animositate vincuntur hae alites, sed vinbus, et 
eleganter antiquissimus Ion poeta Tragicus 683 his 
versibus ostendit. 

Nee iam corpore, utroque, et ocello 
Ictibus obtuso illefatiscit, 

[238] Robore sed labente gemiscit 
Et tivus servire recusat. 



and insolent, thanks to the close friendship with 
Socrates* whose was admiring the singular 
integrity he began to be quiet and moderate. For 
Plutarch cites this iambic trimeter from some 
poet: 

Eptex'alektor hos klinas pterin, that is, 

He flees frightened like a rooster 

When, defeated, lets down its wings. 

Actually this adage is used for a person who is 
troubled, worried, or even frightened. For ptessein 
for Greeks means to flee as well as to withdraw 
frightened. It is said particularly of birds. Similarly 
they say You have been defeated by some rooster as a 
proverbial joke for servants following behind their 
masters, that is, suppliant and humble, as roosters 
beaten in combat are accustomed to behave. 
These birds are not, however, overcome by 
boldness of spirit but by strength, and Ion from 
Chios*, the very ancient tragic poet, pointed this 
out elegantly in these verses: 

And when the body and both small eyes 

have been struck by the blows, he never leaves off, 

but for failing strength he groans 

and he refuses to be a liiing slave. 



Page 238 



Quod postremum, etsi non usque adeo semper 
verum sit, nisi vinbus tamen victum cedere certum 
est: contra fit in plensque alns animalibus, quorum 
fere semper alia aliis ante mitam pugnam sua sponte 
cedunt. 

Quod mtelligens Miltiades Atheniensium imperator, 
cum Rex Persarum excito Asiae robore tarn multa 
mil{l}ia traiecisset in Europam, quasi ad pnmum 
clamorem oppressurus Graeciam, convocatis in 
{Panatheniacum} <Panathenaicum> conventum 
socns pugnantes ostendit has alites, ut Philo Iudaeus 
scnptum reliquit 684 , ratus hoc spectaculum maiorem 



Although this last statement is not always true to 
such a degree, nevertheless it is certain that he 
yields only if subdued by force: the opposite 
happens in the best part of other animals, some of 
whose spontaneously submit to others before the 
combat began. 

Aware of this, Miltiades*, strategist of Athenians, 
since after the king of Persians - Darius 1st* - 
aroused the Asian strength and ferried to Europe 
so many thousand of men as if he were about to 
subjugate the Greece at the first shout of war, 
having called his allies together in the 
panathenaic* meeting showed them these birds in 



681 Nell'edizione degli Adagia di Erasmo* del 1550 (Lugduni, apud Sebastianum Gryphium) questo proverbio corrisponde a 11,2,26 
(Chiliadis II Centuna II - XXVI). 

682 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 410: Sumptum est ex Aristophane nisi me fallit memoria. Refertur ab 
{Eudemo} <Euelpide>, Erasmus. — L'errore Eudemo/Euelpide e contenuto nel proverbio IV,2,78 (Chiliadis IIII Centuria II — 
LXXVIII) degli Adagia di Erasmo del 1550 (Lugduni, apud Sebastianum Gryphium). — La spiegazione del misfatto di Erasmo, non 
emendato da Gessner, potrebbe essere assai semplice. Infatti Euelpide in greco viene abbreviato con Eus. ma Erasmo potrebbe 
aver letto 'Euo., facendoci cosi scervellare alia ricerca di chi fosse questo fantomatico Eudemo*. Erasmo manco si ricordava chi 
erano i personaggi degli Uccelli di Aristofane! Infatti la frase si trova ai versi 70-71: 'Eus. r|TT1^8rj<5 Twoq | cAsKTpUOVOq. 

683 Dovrebbe trattarsi del frammento 53. 

684 L opera di Filone alia quale si riferisce Aldrovandi e intitolata LTspl TOU TtdvTCt GTtOuSctlOV slvcu sAsuBepOV - Quod omnis 
probus liber sit - Ogni uomo onesto e libera - Every good man is free - A treatise to prove that every man who is virtuous is also free come e stata 
intitolata da Charles Duke Yonge (1812-1891) del quale si riporta il passo tradotto in inglese dal greco:: XIX. (131) And moreover 
any one "who considers the matter may find even among the brute beasts examples of the freedom "which exists among men, as he 
may of all other human blessings. At all events, cocks are accustomed to contend with one another, and to display such an actual 



172 



vim habiturum, ad promovendum eorum animos, 
quam orationem. Nee eum fefellit sua opinio. 
Spectata enim, inquit Philo, in brutis patientia, 
pertmacique contentione usque ad necem 
pugnantibus invicto pectore, correptis armis earn 
expeditionem susceperunt, quasi bellaturi cum 
ingenti strage hostium, contemptis mortibus, et 
vulneribus, ut saltern msepelirentur libero solo 
patriae. Nihil enim ad rem gnaviter gerendam 
excitat, ac detenorum victoria maior, quam speran 
poterat. Tradit item Diogenes Laertius 685 , Socratem 
Iphicrati duci animos adiecisse, cum ei ostendisset 
Gallos Gallmaceos tonsoris Mid<i>ae adversus eos, 
qui erant Calliae, pennis, ac rostro dimicantes. Quam 
utilitatem agnovit et Chrysippus 686 , dum Gallorum 
aemulatione inijei nobis ad fortitudinem stimulos, et 
subijci calcaria prodidit. 



Qumim<m>o fuisse apud antiquos histona docet, 
qui Gallos ad certamen lnstituerent, quos 
Columella 687 <nxosarum> avium {lauistas} 
<lanistas> vocavit. Plinius 688 author est Pergami 
Gallorum spectaculum velut gladiatorum quotannis 
{ajedi. Apud Tarnasaros 689 Indiae populos, 



combat, as Philo Judaeus - Philo of Alexandria* - 
related in his writings, being Miltiades persuaded 
that this sight would have more power to stir up 
their spirits than an oration. Nor did he fail in his 
expectation. When they observed the endurance 
of the animals, says Philo, and their stubborn 
fighting up to cause the death of opponents with 
invincible spirit, they took up arms and undertook 
that expedition with intent to fight at the cost of a 
great overthrow of enemies, scorning death and 
wounds if only they might find burial in the free 
soil of their fatherland. For nothing stirs one to a 
zealous undertaking, and the victory of those who 
are inferior is greater than it should be hoped. 
Diogenes Laertius* likewise reports that Socrates* 
filled the strategist Iphicrates* with courage when 
he showed him the cocks of the barber Midias, 
fighting with feathers and beak against those of 
Callias*. Chrysippus* also recognized their utility, 
since he handed down that the incitements to be 
strong are inculcated in us through the emulation 
of the roosters, and that spurs must be lifted up. 

History, nonetheless, teaches us that there were 
men among the ancients who trained cocks to 
fight, whom Columella* called trainers of fighting 
birds. Pliny* says that every year at Pergamum* a 
spectacle was organized as of gladiators. Among 
the Tarnasari* people of India, the nobility not 



affection for danger, that in order to save themselves from yielding or submitting, even if they are inferior in power to their 
adversary they "will not bear to be inferior in courage, for they endure even to death. (132) And Miltiades, the famous general of the 
Athenians, seeing this, "when the king of the Persians having roused up all the might of Asia, "was invading Europe with many 
myriads of soldiers, as if he "were going to destroy all Greece with the mere shout of his army, having collected all the allies at the 
festival called the panathenaea, showed them a battle between these birds, thinking that the encouragement which they "would 
derive from such a sight would be more powerful than any argument. (133) And he "was not deceived, for when they had seen the 
patient enduring and honourable feeling of these irrational animals, "which could not be subdued by any means short of death itself, 
they snatched up their arms and rushed eagerly to "war, as resolving to fight against their enemies with their bodies, and being utterly 
indifferent to "wounds and death, being willing to die for their freedom, so that at all events they might be buried in the still free soil 
of their native country; for there is nothing which acts so forcibly in the "way of exhortation so as to improve the character, as an 
unhoped-for success in the case of those whom men look upon as inferior to themselves. (134) Moreover the tragic "writer, Ion, 
mentions the contentious spirit of those birds in the following lines: "Nor though "wounded in each limb, | Nor though his eyes 
with blows are dim, | Will he forget his might; | But still, though much fatigued, "will crow, | Preferring death to undergo | Than 
slavery, or slight." - Conrad Gessner trattando del gallo in Historia animalium III (1555) non fa questa citazione di Filone. E assai 
verosimile die Gessner non avesse a disposizione 1' opera filosofica di Filone in quanto la prima edizione in stampa del testo greco 
apparve a Parigi nel 1552 grazie all'editore A. Tournebe. 

685 Le vite, k opinioni, gli apoftegmi dei filosofi celebri, II, Socrate, 12: He also inspired Iphicrates, the general, with courage, by showing 
him the gamecocks of Midias the barber, pluming themselves against those of Callias;[...] (translated by CD. Yonge - 
http://classicpersuasion.org) 

686 De Iustitia (Aldrovandi) . — Sulla giustitria = SVF III, 705, ap. - Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 407: Proditur 
memoriae Socratem Iphicrati duci animos adiecisse, quum ei praemonstrasset gallinaceos coram Callia pennis ac rostro dimicantes. 
Chrysippus etiam in libro de iustitia (ut refert Stobaeus) gallorum aemulatione inijei nobis ad fortitudinem stimulos et subijci 
calcaria prodidit, Caelius. 

687 Y) e re rus fi ca VIII,2,5: Nobis nostrum vernaculum maxime placet, omisso tamen illo studio Graecorum, qui ferocissimum 
quemque alitem certaminibus et pugnae praeparabant. Nos enim censemus instituere vectigal industrii patrisfamiliae, non rixosarum 
avium lanistae, cuius plerumque totum patrimonium, pignus aleae, victor gallinaceus pyctes abstulit. 

688 Naturalis historia X,50: Pergami omnibus annis spectaculum gallorum publice editur ceu gladiatorum. 

689 Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 387: Circa Tarnasari urbem Indiae gallinaceos procerissimos videre memini: 
ex quorum sane acerrimis conflictibus summam voluptatem cepi. nam quotidie huic ludo per medios vicos Mahumetanorum animi 



173 



nobiliores pugna eorum, ad quam tantummodo eos 
nutnunt, non oblectantur tantum, sed centum etiam 
aureos deponunt, quos ille, cuius Gallus in certamme 
superior evasit, domum victor reportat. Aiunt vero 
qui eas regiones peragrarunt, Gallorum eorum 
certamen quinque quandoque horas durare, et 
victum victori nisi morte cedere quam saepissime. 
Idem certamen colunt Iavae insulae mcolae, necnon 
qui Pulaoan msulam habitant. 



Verum nunquid id longo tempore fecerint, ut saltern 
verisimile est, mihi nondum cognitum est: Graecos 
id olim observasse turn ex allata Plmii authontate, 
turn ex Aeliano 690 etiam clarum est, qui 
Themistoclem contra barbaros exercitum ducentem 
duos in itinere Gallos forte pugnantes vidisse prodit, 
ac imperasse, ut miles desisteret, acceptaque de hac 
pugna occasione, docuisse bonis, et strenuis civibus, 
pluris patriam, liberos, uxores, parentes, Deosque 
penates aestimandos, quam Gallis solam victoriae 
opinionem. Qua de re consule Caelium 691 . Cum 
igitur victor redisset, instituisse, ut quotannis 
Gallinaceorum pugna Athenis publice exiberetur. 
Quern morem etiamnum apud Bohemos in hunc 
diem durare audio, ubi pnmores praeparare Gallos 
aiunt pugnae, quasi gladiatonae, fierique sponsiones 
pretii non parvi, dum unusquisque pecuniae 
summam largam deponit, quam dommus victoris 
Gallmacei aufert 692 . Et Io. Goropius 693 id 
Ambivantis populis, teste Caesare, Galliae Belgicae 
in usu fuisse refert, magna ambitione duabus inter se 
certantibus factionibus, atque id cum in pagis, turn 



only enjoy their fighting, only for which raise 
them, but also make available a hundred gold 
coins, which the man whose cock has proved 
stronger in combat takes home with him as 
winner. Actually those who traveled in those 
regions say that their cockfights sometimes last 
five hours, and very often the defeated yields to 
his winner only with death. The inhabitants of the 
island of Java* cultivate the same kind of 
cockfighting, as do those who dwell on the island 
of Pulaoan* - or Palawan. 

To tell the truth, whether they did so for a long 
time, as it is at any rate likely, is not yet known to 
me: that Greeks once esteemed cockfighting is 
clear from the quoted evidence of Pliny, as well as 
from Aelian*, who relates that Themistocles*, 
when he led an army against the barbarians, while 
marching saw by chance two fighting roosters, 
and he ordered the army to stop and took the 
opportunity given him by this fighting to teach 
that by virtuous and diligent citizens must be 
esteemed fatherland, children, wives, parents, and 
household gods more highly than by cocks is 
esteemed the only renown coming from the 
victory. Consult Caelio Calcagnini* on this matter. 
So, when he went back as victor decreed yearly a 
cockfight to be held in public at Athens. I hear 
that this custom continues even now among 
Bohemians*, where, they say, the nobility prepare 
cocks for as it were a gladiatorial combat, and 
large bets are made since each man places at 
disposal a large sum of money which the master 
of the winner cock bears away with him. And 



causa opera dabatur, mirumque est Mahumetanorum pro hac re certamen. habent privi privos gallos gallinaceos, eosque 
committunt aliis, expositis quandoque pro alitum futura victoria utrinque aureis centenis singulo congressu. Conspicati sumus senis 
horis concertantes alites, nee prius illae modum proelio faciebant, quam occubuissent, Ludovicus Romanus. [Lodovico de 
Varthema*] 

690 Storia varia libro II. - Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 387: Contra Barbaros cum Themistocles exercitum 
duceret, et gallos non ignaviter pugnantes animadvertisset, exercitum confirmavit, his verbis ad milites usus: At hi neque pro patria, 
neque pro penatibus, neque pro sepulchris maiorum, atque libertate, neque pro pueris mala sustinent: sed ut ne vincantur, neuter 
cedit alteri. Quae cum dixisset, Atheniensibus animum auxit. Itaque id factum, quod eis fuisset significatio (incitamentum) ad 
virtutem, ad similium factorum monumentum servari voluerunt, Gillius ex Aeliani lib. 2. Variorum. 

691 l^ectionum Antiquarum libri xx, liber 17, caput 32. (Aldrovandi) — Eliano Variae historiae Libri XIIII - 11,28: UNDE CERTAMEN 
GALLORUM GALLINACEORUM INITIUM TRAXERIT - Post devictos Persas, Athenienses lege posuerunt, ut galli gallinacei quotannis 
uno die certamen in theatro inirent. Unde vero sumpserit occasionem haec lex, planum faciam. Cum Themistocles civicum 
exercitum adversus barbaros educeret, gallos gallinaceos vidit pugnantes: neque ille spectatorem sese oscitantem eius pugnae 
praebuit. Sed totum exercitum cohibens, inquit ad ipsos: At hi neque pro patria, neque pro dijs familiaribus, neque vero pro avitis 
heroibus periculum subeunt, neque pro gloria, neque pro libertate, neque pro liberis: sed tantum, ne alter ab altero superetur, aut 
alter alteri cedat. Quibus verbis Atheniensium animum confirmavit. Quod ergo tunc eis incitamentum ad virtutem extitit, voluit ad 
similium rerum et factorum memoriam sempiternam consecrare. (Claudii Aeliani opera quae extant omnia Graece l^atineque, Tiguri, apud 
Gesneros Fratres, 1556, pagina 394 — Iusto Vulteio Wetterano interprete) 

692 Filippo Beroaldo il Vecchio*. II dato si puo desumere da Conrad Gessner Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 387: Avium lanistae 
a Columella dicuntur, qui gallinas (gallos) parant, instruuntque ad certamen. qui mos hodieque durat apud Boemos: ubi primores 
praeparant gallos gallinaceos pugnae quasi gladiatoriae, fiuntque sponsiones pretii non parvi, dum unusquisque pecuniam largam 
deponit, quam aufert dominus victoris gallinacei, Beroaldus. 

693 Origines Anttverpianae, sive, Cimmeriorum Becceselana, Novem Libros Complexa - Gothodanica liber VII. 



174 



maxime in ipsa urbe, cui a Ducis sylva nomen est, 
(vulgo Tshertighen bos: est autem Brabantiae nobilis 
urbs, et regi catholico adversus Hollandos semper 
maximis in belli periculis fidem servans) per octo 
mtegros dies in ipsa curia Gallos ad pugnam 
committi, ingenti partium studio, et solicita victoriae 
expectatione: in hac vero tantum exardescere, ut ipse 
viderit ex Gallmaceorum certamine ad equestre 
duellum aliquem alium provocasse, in eoque alterum 
virum in pnmis strenuum, et veteranum equitem 
lancea in fronte ictum occubuisse eodem fere modo, 
quo Henncus Rex Franciae, cui per oculi altenus 
cavitatem pars fractae lanceae in cerebri sedem est 
adacta. Legimus denique apud Gallos eiusmodi 
Gallmaceorum pugnantium spectacula in scholis edi: 
quod forte et ipsi fecerint, ut non alacriores tantum 
iuvenum suorum ad pugnam amnios reddant, sed 
etiam speratae, ac optatae victoriae cupidos. 



Veteres, ut Gallinacei in pugna facilius adversus 
hostes suos tutarentur, stimulis ferreis aeneisque, 
quos Sipontinus plectra dici assent, lllos armabant: 
unde etiamnum extat adagium aipe TtAf^icTpov 
a|iuvTr|piov, id est tolle calcar ultorium: in eum 
mmirum, qui iam ultionem parat: sumptum autem 
est adagium ex Anstophane 694 , cum ait: alpe 
TtAf^icTpov el |i.«XTl' hoc est tolle calcar, sipugnas. 



Iucundum vero, in quit Caelius 695 , quod observatum 
hac parte non reticebimus, Gallmaceis mox 
compugnatuns allium in cibis obijci solitum, quo 
acrius decertarent, ex quo facetissime in veten 
{comediae} <comoedia> 696 eOKopoSiapivoc;, id est, 
allio pastus, quod scorodon vocant, pro vehementi, 
ac nimis in pugnam proclivi quandoque dicitur. 
Eodem modo proficiscentes, iique qui bella, et castra 
sequuntur, allium gustant quod eos agiles reddat, 



Ioannes Goropius — Jan van Gorp* - reports that 
this practice, according to Caesar*, was in use 
among the Ambivariti* people of Belgic Gaul, 
since two factions were vying each other because 
of a great ambition, both in the villages and 
especially in the city itself whose name comes 
from the forest of their ruler, (commonly called 's- 
Hertogenbosch*: for it is a renowned city of 
Brabant*, and which always preserves its faith to 
the Catholic king against the Dutch, despite the 
greatest perils of war) and for eight entire days in 
the curia* itself the cocks were set to fight each 
other amid huge enthusiasm of opponents and 
anxious expectation of victory: and during the 
expectation their spirits burnt up so greatly that 
Jan van Gorp himself saw that because of the 
cockfight somebody else challenged another to a 
duel on horseback, and in this duel either man, a 
very valiant and skilled horseman, fell hit with a 
lance in the face, almost in the same way as Henry 
2nd* king of France, who died when a portion of 
a broken lance was driven through one of his eye 
sockets into his brain. We read finally that such 
fighting cocks' spectacles were organized among 
Gauls* in the schools: perhaps they did so not 
only in order to make their young people more 
ready-spirited for a fight, but also desirous of a 
hoped- and longed-for victory. 

In order that roosters protect themselves more 
easily against their adversaries, the ancients armed 
them with iron and bronze spurs, and Sipontinus 

- Nicolo Perotto* - affirms they were called plectra 

- plucks: hence even now exists the adage aire 
plektron amynterion, that is, Put on the avenging spur. 
obviously addressed to the man who already is 
preparing a vengeance: but the saying is drawn 
from Aristophanes*, when he says: aire plektron ei 
mache,, that is, Put on the pur if jou fight. 

But at this point we shall not keep silent about a 
funny observed fact. Celio Calcagmni says:, that is, 
when cocks were about to fight they were usually 
given garlic in their food so that will fight harder. 
Hence in a very funny way sometimes in ancient 
Greek comedy they say eskorodismenos, that is, fed 
with garlic, which they call skorodon, to mean a 
person vehement and too much prone to clash. In 
the same way, those who are about to set out and 



694 Gli uccelli, 759. 

695 Ijectionum Antiquarum libri xx, liber 16, caput 13. (Aldrovandi) 

696 La tortuosita di Aldrovandi e impareggiabile! Se ne sowerte il testo basandoci sulla linearita di quello di Conrad Gessner, Historia 
Animalium III (1555), pag. 386: Gallinaceis mox compugnaturis allium in cibis obijcere solebant, quo acrius decertarent. Ex quo 
facetissime in veteri comoedia, eskorodismenos, id est allio pastus, pro vehementi ac nimis in pugnam proclivi dicitur quandoque, 
Caelius. 



175 



vires addat, et animum acuat. Exhibetur etiam equis those going to warfare and camps eat garlic 
una cum pane, et vino, ut ad praelium euntes facilius because it makes them nimble, energizes and 
labores futuros sustineant, ferocioresque fiant. sharpens their mind. It is also given to horses with 

bread and wine, so that when they go to battle 
may sustain more easily their future efforts and 
become more impetuous. 

Page 239 

[239] Plinius 697 item Gallmaceos pugnaciores reddi Likewise Pliny* says roosters become more 

author est, si in cibum eorum {politricum} pugnacious if maidenhair fern* either false 

<polytrichon>, {et} <vel> tnchomanes adda{n}tur. maidenhair fern is added to their food. They say 

Idem praestare aiunt adiantum 698 : quod Io. Baptista maidenhair fern achieves the same effect. 

Porta ideo fieri putat, quia haec herba Galli cristam Giambattista Delia Porta* thinks this happens 

quodammodo aemuletur. because of this, because this herb somehow 

imitates the rooster's comb. 

Caeterum inter Gallos alii aliis praeferebantur. On the other hand among roosters some were 

Laudabantur autem in pnmis, teste Plinio 699 Rhodii, preferred to others. For, according to Pliny, were 

et Tanagraei: secundo Melici (Lego Medici) et first praised the Rhodian* and Tanagran* cocks; 

Chalcidici. lam ex his, inquit, <quidam> ad bella next the Melian (I read Median*) and Chalcidian* 

tantum, et praelia assidua nascuntur, quibus etiam patrias ones. Among these, he says, some are bom only for 

nobilitamnt Rhodum, {ac} <aut> T anagram. Secundus est incessant wrestling and fighting, thanks to which they also 

honos habitus Melicis, ac Chalcidicis, ut plane dignae aliti made renowned their native lands, Rhodes or Tanagra. 

tantum honoris {praebeat} <perhibeat> 700 Romana Median and Chalcidian ones have been given the second 

purpura. Hmc facile hunc Suidae 701 locum restituas: place, so that purple-clad Romans bestow so great a honor 

aXeictpuova 6c6!\r|Tf]v Tavaypalov, hoc est on a bird which quite deserves it. Hence you may easily 

Gallinaceum athletam Tanagraeum. Deest enim repair this passage of Suidas* lexicon: alektryona 



697 Dioscoride* parla non di pernici, ma di quaglie e galli clie diventano piu combattivi, solo quando tratta dell'Adiantum (IV,131) 
corrispondente al nostro Capelvenere (Adiantum capillus-veneris) e non a proposito del Tnchomanes. Si veda il testo e l'iconografia di 
Mattioli* alia voce capelvenere*. Se non bastasse, e la foglia del capelvenere che ricorda la cresta del gallo, come giustamente 
rimarcato da Giambattista Delia Porta. — Plinio Naturalis historia XXII,62-65: [62] Aliud adianto miraculum: aestate viret, bruma non 
marcescit, aquas respuit, perfusum mersumve sicco simile est — tanta dissociatio deprehenditur — , unde et nomen a Graecis 
alioqui frutici topiario. Quidam callitrichon vocant, alii polytrichon, utrumque ab effectu. Tinguit enim capillum et ad hoc 
decoquitur in vino cum semine apii adiecto oleo copioso, ut crispum densumque faciat; et defluere autem prohibet. [63] Duo genera 
eius: candidius et nigrum breviusque. Id, quod maius est, polytrichon, aliqui trichomanes vocant. Utrique ramuli nigro colore nitent, 
foliis felicis, ex quibus inferiora aspera ac fusca sunt, omnia autem contrariis pediculis, densa ex adverso inter se, radix mula. 
Umbrosas petras parietumque aspergines ac fontium maxime specus sequitur et saxa manantia, quod miremur, cum aquas non 
sentiat. [64] Calculos e corpore mire pellit frangitque, utique nigrum, qua de causa potius quam quod in saxis nasceretur a nostris 
saxifragum appellatum crediderim. Bibitur e vino quantum terni decerpsere digiti. Urinam cient, serpentium et araneorum venenis 
resistunt, in vino decocti alvum sistunt. Capitis dolores corona ex his sedat. contra scolopendrae morsus inlinuntur, crebro 
auferendi, ne perurant; hoc et in alopeciis. strumas discutiunt furfuresque in facie et capitis manantia ulcera. [65] Decoctum ex his 
prodest suspiriosis et iocineri et lieni et felle subfusis et hydropicis. Stranguriae inlinuntur et renibus cum absinthio. Secundas cient 
et menstrua, sanguinem sistunt ex aceto aut rubi suco poti. infantes quoque exulcerati perunguuntur ex iis cum rosaceo et vino. — 
(Virus folii in urina pueri inpubis tritum quidem cum aphronitro et inlitum ventri mulierum, ne rugosus fiat, praestare dicitur.) — 
Perdices et gallinaceos pugnaciores fieri putant in cibum eorum additis, pecorique esse utilissimos. - XXVII,138: Trichomanes 
adianto simile est, exilius modo nigriusque, foliis lenticulae, densis, parvis, adversis inter se. decoctum eius strangurias sanat in vino 
albo potum addito cumino rustico, lienem. Cohibet capillos fluentes aut, si effluxerint, reparat alopeciasque densat tritum in oleo et 
inlitum. Sternumenta quoque gustatu movet. 

698 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 386: Perdices et gallinaceos (Gallos et coturnices, Diosco.) pugnaciores fieri 
putant, in cibum eorum additis adianti ramulis, Plinius. 

699 Naturalis historia X,48: lam ex his quidam ad bella tantum et proelia adsidua nascuntur - quibus etiam patrias nobilitarunt, 
Rhodum aut Tanagram; secundus est honos habitus Melicis et Chalcidicis -, ut plane dignae aliti tantum honoris perhibeat Romana 
purpura. 

700 Praebeat invece di perhibeat viene da Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 381: Secundus est honos habitus Melicis 
et Chalcidicis, ut plane dignae aliti tantum honoris {praebeat} <perhibeat> Romana purpura, Plinius. 

701 II testo completo del lessico Suida alia voce Alektryona e il seguente: 'AAeKTpUOVCC dBArjTqv TCtvaypCUOV. aSovTCU 8s 
euysvsic, outov. 

176 



copulativa comunctio 702 , quae et alibi apud eundem 
habetur: AAeictpuova Kal a6Arftf}v tavaypalov, ubi 
earn proverbialiter {hoc} <hic> accipi scnbit: sive 
Gallinaceum Tanagraeum, sive athl{a}etam 
Tanagraeum dicas, animosum et strenuum intelligas: 
elegantius vero fuerit, si hominem, et athl{a}etam 
pugnacem, ac fortem Gallinaceum Tanagraeum 
cognomines: quam si athletam Tanagraeum 
simpliciter. Non enim athletas a Tanagra laudatos 
legere memini, sed Gallos tantum 703 . 



lam vero ex his, quae dicta sunt, cuivis satis liquido 
constare arbitror, Gallmaceos Gallos non solum 
pugnacissimas alites esse, et a servitio, mgoque 
abhorrere, sed ab antiquis, et a multis nostro aevo ob 
id in summo honore habitos; adeo ut olim Plato 704 
illorum stoliditatem ndens, sese amicum bonum 
potius, quam Galium apiatov, id est optimum, seu 
pugnacissimum malle dixerit. Contra Pallas huiusce 
bellicosissimi alitis imaginem, ut testatur 
Pausanias 705 , in casside {suo} <sua> pictam tulit, et 
Mars sibi sacrum voluit, adeo ut utri{m}que 
bellorum Deo gratum fuisse videamus, atque hinc 
forte Aristophanes 706 aves hominibus, Persis vero in 
primis imperasse per locum scnpsit: ait autem. 
Quod autem non Dei igitur hominibus imperarunt antiquitus, 

Sed aves et regnabant: multa sunt signa homm: 
Statim autem vobis primum ostendam Galium quod regnabat 

Imperabatque Persis primum omnibus, Dario, et 
{Megabi^o 107 } <Megaba%p>: 



athleten tanagraion, that is, The rooster athlete of 
Tanagra. For the copulative conjunction is missing 
here, which also elsewhere is mantained: 
Alektryona kai athleten tanagraion - The rooster and the 
Tanagran athlete - where it writes that this 
conjunction is used in this case proverbially: both 
saying Tanagra's rooster and Tanagra's athlete, 
and you would mean brave and valiant: but it 
would be more elegant if you call as Tanagran 
rooster a man as well as a pugnacious and strong 
athlete than if you simply call him as Tanagran 
athlete. For I do not recall to have read that 
athletes from Tanagra were praised, but only the 
roosters. 

Well, from the words I said, I think that it could 
unequivocally turn out to anyone that roosters are 
not only very pugnacious birds abhorring slavery 
and yoke, but that because of this by ancients and 
by many people of our own time they are held in 
the highest esteem; to such an extent that once 
Plato*, making fun of their stupidity, said he 
preferred to be a good friend rather than an driston 
rooster, that is excellent, or very pugnacious. On 
the contrary the Pallas Athena*, according to 
Pausanias*, carried the painted image of this very 
warlike bird in her helmet, and Mars* wished it to 
be sacred to him, so that we may see it was dear 
to both gods of wars, and hence, perhaps, 
Aristophanes* wrote in jest that the birds ruled 
over men, but first over the Persians: for he says: 
But therefore in ancient times the gods did not rule men 
but also birds did rule: there are many proofs about the 
latter ones: 



702 II lessico Suida ha AAeKTpuova a6Ar|Tr|V TavaypCUOV senza KCU. Gottfried Bernhardy (1834) propose Kal &8Ar|Tf|V. 

703 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 410: AAsKTpUOVOt &8Ar|Tf]V Tctvaypcuov. Celebrantur enim isti a 
generositate, Suidas. Sed magis probo copulativam coniunctionem interseri, ut alibi apud eundem habetur, 'AAsiCTpUOVa 1CCU 
dUArjTI^V Tavajpcuov, ubi etiam proverbialiter usurpari scribit. Ut sive gallinaceum Tanagraeum, sive athletam Tanagraeum dicas, 
animosum et strenuum intelligas. Elegantius autem fuerit, si hominem et athletam pugnacem ac fortem, gallinaceum Tanagraeum 
cognomines: quam si athletam Tanagraeum simpliciter. Non enim athletas a Tanagra laudatos legere memini, sed gallos tantum. 

704 Lysis 21 le. (Lmd, 1963) 

705 p er i e g e si della Grecia VI, Elide II, 26,3: On the Acropolis of the Eleans is a sanctuary of Athena. The image is of ivory and gold. 
They say that the goddess is the work of Pheidias. On her helmet is an image of a cock, this bird being very ready to fight. The bird 
might also be considered as sacred to Athena the "worker. (Description of Greece with an English Translation by W.H.S. Jones, 
London, William Heinemann Ltd., 1918) - Aldrovandi ne riparla a pagina 304. 

706 Gkuccelk 481-85. (Lmd, 1963) 

/07 La notizia che un certo Alektryon fu tiranno dei Persiani prima di tutti, anche di Dario e di Megabazo - e non di Megabizo* -, 
viene dalla commedia di Aristofane Gli uccelli, 483. L'errore e gia stato segnalato a pagina 184* dove Megaba^us viene riportato come 
Megaby^us, anziche Megabits come in questo punto. E probabile che Aldrovandi abbia dedotto l'errore dal testo di Conrad Gessner, 
Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 404: Alectryon olim tyrannidem gessit, et Persis primus imperavit, etiam ante Darium et 
Megabyzum: unde etiamnum ab illo imperio Persica avis appellatur, Pisthetaerus apud Aristoph. in Avibus. — A sua volta Gessner 
potrebbe aver dedotto l'errore da qualche testo come quello di Ado Manuzio* del 1498 che riporta: TtpdbtOV TtdvTCOV Sapsvou 
ICCtl J1S yapui^OU . In Aves 481 sgg. si dice semplicemente che in origine gli uccelli regnavano sugli uomini, e Pistetero mostrera 
immediatamente il gallo (ton alektryona), come regnava sui Persiani, prima di tutti i Dari e i Megabazi, cosicche il gallo e chiamato 
"uccello persiano". 



177 



Quare vacatur [Persicus] <Persica> avis a dominatione 
adhuc ilia. 
Sed verisimilius fuerit primum Persarum regem 
Galium fuisse dictum, ut in aequivocis 708 diximus. 



Aristo teles 709 fortitudinis huius volucris causam in 
duras eius pennas reijcit: quasi vero non aliae 
darentur aves durionbus pennis, quae tamen haud 
aeque fortes sint. {Rases} <Rasis>, penes quern eius 
rei fides esto, {vinciturum} <victurum> pollicetur 
causam contra adversanum, si calcar Galli de crure 
dextro tecum feras: et Kiramdes fabulosissimus 
scnptor cnstam capitis Galli cum grano thuris, et 
pauco cornu cervi timorem omnem nocturnum, si 
gestatur, omnemque occursum malum auferre: 
hominemque gestantem mtrepidum reddere: quasi 
eiusmodi arma, quibus Gallus maxime superbit, 
crista nempe, et calcar ad hominibus animum 
addendum polleant: quod cum non negaverim, 
minime tamen affirmaverim, nihil scilicet certi inde 
habens. Atque haec de Galli pugnacitate dicta 
sufficiant. 



SYMPATHIA. ANTIPATHIA. 

Videtur quidem occulta quaedam sympathiae, seu 
amicitiae vis, potentiaque subesse, quod aves 
cicures 710 , et domesticae tarn audacter equos, asinos, 
boves, atque id genus iumenta alia contemnant, ac si 
cum mansuefactis elephantis simul alantur, non 
modo eos non pertimescant, verum per eos etiam 
ipsos gradiantur, et Gallmacei eorumdem dorso 



at once, I shall point out firstly the rooster since he ruled 

and as first dominated over all Persians, over Darius* and 

Megaba^us*: 

whence he is still called Persian bird starting from that 

hegemony. 

But it is more likely that the first king of Persians 

was called Rooster, as I said under the heading 

ties. 



Aristotle* attributes the cause of the strength of 
this bird to its hard feathers, as if there were not 
other birds with harder feathers which 
nevertheless are not equally strong. Razi*, in 
whom we must believe in this matter, promises 
that you will win your case against an adversary if 
you cany with you the spur from the right foot of 
a rooster: and Kiramdes*, a writer with a very 
lively imagination, says that the comb of a 
rooster's head with a gram of incense* and a bit of 
deer horn, if carried about with one, drives away 
every night-time fear and every bad encounter: 
and makes intrepid the man who carries it, as if 
such arms in which the rooster takes especial 
pride, that is, comb and spur, are powerful to 
imbue humans with courage. Although I should 
not deny this, I should nevertheless by no means 
assert that it is true, since evidently thence no 
certainty can be drawn. And let these words we 
said about the pugnacity of the rooster to be 
enough. 

SYMPATHY - ANTIPATHY 

Actually, it seems there is a certain hidden force 
and influence of sympathy or friendship, since 
domesticated and domestic birds so boldly do not 
take into account horses, donkeys and oxen, and 
other beasts of burden of this kind, and if raised 
along with tamed elephants, they not only do not 
fear them but also walk among them, and 



708 Apagmal84. 

709 Aristotele in Physionomia (Aldrovandi) - Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 381: Quaecunque aves pennas duras 
habent, fortes sunt, ut coturnices, galli, Aristot. in Physiognom. - Pseudo Aristotele Fisiognomica 806b: E possibile osservare questo 
stesso anche tra gli uccelli, giacche in generale quanti hanno la ali dure sono coraggiosi, quanti le hanno morbide, pavidi e in 
particolare e possibile osservare questo stesso anche tra le quaglie e i galli. (traduzione di Giampiera Raina, BUR, 1993). 

710 Conrad Gessner, Historia Animalium III (1555), pag. 385: Aves cicures et domesticae audacter contemnunt equos, asinos, boves: 
ac si cum mansuefactis elephantis aluntur, non modo eos non timent, verum per eos etiam ipsos gradiuntur. Et gallinacei ut in 
eorundem dorsis considere audent: sic magnum eis metum mustela vel praeteriens inijcit. et qui vocem vel mugientium vel 
rudentium praeclare contemnunt, illius clamorem vehementer horrent, Idem. [Aelianus] - Eliano, Lm natura degli animali V,50: E 
senza dubbio possibile anche attraverso queste altre osservazioni conoscere le caratteristiche degli animali. Noi vediamo ad esempio 
che gli uccelli domestici, allevati a contatto diretto con l'ambiente, non hanno piu paura dei cavalli, degli asini, dei buoi e dei 
cammelli dato che si sono abituati alia loro presenza. Non temono neanche gli elefanti (se questi mostrano un'indole mite e 
mansueta) e addirittura si aggirano in mezzo a loro. I galli poi prendono tanta confidenza che non esitano a volare anche sulla loro 
schiena. Se invece una donnola corre vicino a loro, si sbigottiscono e vengono presi da un grande terrore. Non si preoccupano se 
odono il muggito dei bovini o il raglio degli asini, ma come sentono lo squittio della donnola tremano di paura. Non si curano 
minimamente delle oche, dei cigni e degli struzzi; hanno invece terrore dei falchi, anche se sono molto piccoli. I galli con il loro 
canto impauriscono i leoni e annientano i basilischi; pero non sopportano la vista di un gatto o di un nibbio. (traduzione di 
Francesco Maspero) 



178 



msidere audeant. Cavendum tamen Gallinas 
alentibus, ne ad bourn praes<a>epia perrepant, 
maxime Gallmacei. Nam hoc quod decidit immistum 
pabulo, teste Columella 711 , necem bubus affert. 



Gallmis item cum Pavonibus, Anatibus, Anseribus, 
et Columbis mutua intercedit benevolentia: maior 
vero Gallo cum Porphyrione, si Aeliano 712 credimus, 
qui Galium in eodem cum Porphyrione versantem 
domicilio, tarn insolenti miroque amore illi 
coniunctum fuisse ex inspectione testatur, adeo ut 
tandem Gallo propter epulas occiso, Porphyno 
convictore suo pnvatus, tantum dolons ammo 
conceperit, ut postmodum non amplius cibum 
cepent, sed media potius sibi mortem accelerare, 
quam post supervivere maluent. Sed huius quoque 
abstrusa videtur, ac occulta ratio, cur deficiente 
apibus cibo, si ad fores earum crudas Gallinarum 
carnes, et uvas passas posueris, inedia non sint 
periturae: quod in sc<h>edulis meis notatum 
repeno, sed ex quo authore non memini: et an 
verum sit, haud scio: cunosus quispiam expenn 
poterit. 



gallinaceous birds dare to stand upon their backs. 
Nevertheless, those who raise hens should be 
careful to keep them, especially the roosters, from 
creeping into the cattle sheds. For the excrements 
mixed with fodder, according to Columella*, 
bring death to oxen. 

Likewise there is a mutual affection between hens 
and peacocks, ducks, geese and pigeons: in fact it 
is greater between the rooster and the purple 
swamp hen - or purple gallmule, Pophyrio pophyrio 
pophyrio* - if we believe Aelian, who affirms from 
his own observation that a rooster, who lived in 
the same house along with a purple swamp hen, 
was joined to it by such unusual and outstanding 
love that when finally the rooster was killed 
because of a banquet, the purple swamp hen, 
deprived of its companion, formed in its mind 
such a great grief that from that moment no 
longer ate and preferred to hasten its own death 
by starvation rather than survive any more. But 
there is a deep and hidden reason for this also, 
that is, why when food for bees is lacking, if you 
place raw hens' flesh and raisins at their beehive 
door, they will not die of starvation: I find this 
written down in my slips of paper, but I do not 
remember from what author: and I do not know 
whether it is true or not: whoever is curious will 
be able to try out it. 



Page 240 



Ut vero illud incertum est, ita hoc cum pueris, 
turn [240] senibus, et ut dici solet, lippis, et 
tonsoribus notum 713 , et quotidie observatum, 
nimirum Gallinaceum Galium cum Sole habere 
sympathiam. Hunc enim ad omnes mundi 
angulos, festinantem, exortivum, occiduum, et 
mendianum voce admodum vocali, et alarum 
applausu congratulantis in morem, saepenumero 
salutat, et resalutat. Adducant modo alii quas 
velint manifestas rationes. Ego hinc solare 
animal Galium vocavenm, uti alii 714 etiam 



But, such as that statement is uncertain, likewise what 
follows is known to both children and old men and, 
as one is accustomed to say, to blear-eyed people and 
barbers, and is daily observed, that is, the rooster has 
a fellow-feeling with the sun. For he frequently greets 
it and greets it again at all the corners of the world 
when it hastens, when rises, when sinks and at 
midday, with a loud voice and clapping his wings as 
congratulating. Let others bring forward now the 
evident reasons they wish. I should call the rooster a 
solar animal for the reason given above, as others also 



711 De re rustica VI,5,1: Nullo autem tempore et minime aestate utile est boves in cursum concitari; nam ea res aut cit alvum, aut 
movet febrem. Cavendum quoque est, ne ad praesepia sus aut gallina perrepat. Nam hoc quod decidit, immistum pabulo, bubus 
affert necem; et id praecipue, quod egerit sus aegra, pestilentiam facere valet. 

712 _La natura degli animali V,28: II polio sultano, oltre a essere un uccello estremamente geloso, possiede questa peculiarita: dicono 
clie e particolarmente attaccato alia propria stirpe e ama la compagnia dei suoi simili. Mi hanno raccontato che un polio sultano e un 
gallo venivano allevati nella stessa casa, prendevano il pasto in comune, camminavano assieme e si stropicciavano con la stessa 
polvere. Si era dunque stabilito tra loro uno straordinario legame di amicizia. Un giorno, in occasione di una festa, il padrone di 
entrambi questi uccelli sacrifico il gallo e lo mangio assieme ai familiari. II polio sultano, privato del compagno, non pote sopportare 
la solitudine e si lascio morire di fame, (traduzione di Francesco Maspero) 

713 Orazio Sermones I 7,1-3: Proscripti Regis Rupili pus atque venenum | hybrida quo pacto sit Persius ultus, opinor | omnibus et 
lippis notum et tonsoribus esse. 

714 Plinio Naturalis historia X,47: Itaque terrori sunt etiam leonibus ferarum generosissimis. — VIII,52: Atque hoc tale tamque saevum 
animal rotarum orbes circumacti currusque inanes et gallinaceorum cristae cantusque etiam magis terrent, sed maxime ignes. 



179 



Leonem ferarum generosissimum, qui non 
caetera animalia tantum, sed fortissimos quoque 
viros terret, quern tamen Gallus ne minimi 
quidem facit: at contra, llli et visus, immo auditus 
tantummodo pavorem incutit, etsi de eiusmodi 
antipathia {diversimodi} <diversimode> 

authores scribant. 

Albertus 715 enim duobus in locis hoc de Gallo 
albo mtelligit. Sed ante ipsum item Divus 
Ambrosius 716 tradidit: Leo, mquiens, Galium, et 
maxime album ver\t)etur. Cum vero caeten omnes, 
nullius colons facta mentione, id simpliciter de 
Gallo tradant: itaque, quod cum venia huius 
sanctissimi patris dixenm, omnes Gallos a Leone 
timeri credidenm, si modo verum est, quod inter 
utrosque haec antipathia intercedat. Id enim a 
me non observatum est, nee ab aliquo 
observatum video. Sed si Plinio 717 , Aeliano 718 , 
Solino 719 , Lucretio 720 , Proclo 721 , alnsque 
credimus, quemvis Galium a Leone timeri 
constabit. At hi rursus causam huius odn non 
uno modo tradunt. Plmius bis disertissimis 
verbis ems mentionem faciens, primo cristam, et 
cantum, secundo cristam, et falcatam caudam 
timeri a Leone assent: cuius verba maioris fidei 
causa ascribere placuit. Inquit ergo ibi 722 : Atque 
hoc tarn saevum animal (Leonem) rotarum orbes 
tircumacti, curmsque inanes, et Gallinaceorum 
crista<e>, cantusque etiam magis terrent, sed maxime 
ignes: hie vero sic habet 723 : Quod si palma contigit 
statim in tictoria canunt, seque ipsi principes testantur. 
Victus occultatur silens, aegreque senitium patitur. Et 
plebs tamen aeque superba graditur, ardua cervice, cristis 
celsa <, caelumque sola volucmm aspicit crebra, in 



call the lion the bravest of wild animals, who not only 
terrifies other animals but even the bravest of men, 
but whom the rooster does not hold neither in the 
lowest esteem: on the contrary he strikes fear into the 
lion when this is seeing him, or rather when just 
hearing him, although apropos of such an antipathy 
the authors are writing in different ways. 

In fact Albertus* in two passages understands this 
apropos of white rooster. But similarly before him 
Saint Ambrose* reported that when saying: The lion 
fears the rooster, epecially a white one. But all other writers, 
without making mention of whichever color, simply 
report that apropos of the rooster: therefore, speaking 
by the leave of this very holy father, in my opinion all 
roosters are feared by the lion, if indeed it is true that 
this antipathy exists between them. But I have not 
observed this, nor do I see that it has been observed 
by anyone else. But if we believe Pliny*, Aelian*, 
Solinus*, Lucretius*, Proclus* and others, it will come 
out that whatever rooster is feared by the lion. But on 
the other hand these authors do not hand down 
univocally the cause of this hatred. Pliny, making 
mention twice of it with very meaning words, at first 
affirms that by the lion are feared the comb and the 
crowing, then the comb and the sickle shaped tail: it 
seemed proper to me for a greater credibility to write 
down his words. Well, in the first passage he says: 
And this so fierce animal (the lion) is more frightened also by 
rims of wheels when turning around him, and by empty 
chariots, and by the comb of roosters and their crowing, but 
above all by fires. In the second passage he says: But if the 
palm of victory falls to them, thy immediately sing as 
triumphant, immediately proclaim themselves as sovereigns. 
That who has been defeated hides in silence and reluctantly 



715 De animalibus 22.23. (Aldrovandi) - Conrad Gessner trae la notizia del gallo bianco temuto dal leone non da Sant'Ambrogio, ma 
da Razi*: Leonem dicunt gallum album fugere, Rasis 8.8. (Historia Animalium III - 1555 -, pag. 385) 

716 Hexaemeron liber 6. (Aldrovandi) 

717 Naturalis historia X,47: Itaque terrori sunt etiam leonibus ferarum generosissimis. — VIII,52: Atque hoc tale tamque saevum 
animal rotarum orbes circumacti currusque inanes et gallinaceorum cristae cantusque etiam magis terrent, sed maxime ignes. 

718 La natura degli animali 111,31: II leone ha paura del gallo e dicono che anche il basilisco lo teme e che quando lo vede comincia a 
tremare; se poi lo sente cantare, viene preso da convulsioni e muore. E per questo motivo che coloro che viaggiano per la Libia, 
terra nutrice di tali mostri, per paura del basilisco si portano appresso come compagno di viaggio un gallo, perche li protegga contro 
un cosi grande malanno. (traduzione di Francesco Maspero) 

719 Collectanea rerum memorabilium XXVIII: Cantus gallinaceorum et rotarum timent strepitus, sed ignes magis. 

720 D e rerum na tura IV, 710-721: Quin etiam gallum noctem explaudentibus alis | auroram clara consuetum voce vocare, | noenu 
queunt rapidi contra constare leones|inque tueri: ita continuo meminere fugai. | Ni mirum quia sunt gallorum in corpore 
quaedam | semina, quae cum sunt oculis inmissa leonum, | pupillas interfodiunt acremque dolorem |praebent, ut nequeant contra 
durare feroces, | cum tamen haec nostras acies nil laedere possint, | aut quia non penetrant aut quod penetrantibus illis | exitus ex 
oculis liber datur, in remorando | laedere ne possint ex ulla lumina parte. 

721 De sacrificio et magia. (Aldrovandi) 

722 Naturalis historia VIII,52: Atque hoc tale tamque saevum animal rotarum orbes circumacti currusque inanes et gallinaceorum 
cristae cantusque etiam magis terrent, sed maxime ignes. 

723 Naturalis historia X,47: Quod si palma contigit, statim in victoria canunt seque ipsi principes testantur; victus occultatur silens 
aegreque servitium patitur. Et plebs tamen aeque superba graditur ardua cervice, cristis celsa, caelumque sola volucrum aspicit 
crebra, in sublime caudam quoque falcatam erigens. Itaque terrori sunt etiam leonibus ferarum generosissimis. 



180 



sublime caudam quoque falcatam erigens>: itaque terrori 
sunt etiam Ixonibus ferarum generosissimis. 



Vides igitur hie cantus nullam facere mentionem, 
cuius rursus Solinus 724 tantummodo meminit, 
Gallmaceorum cantus timere Leonem asserens. 
Denique Aelianus 725 , Lucretius, et Proclus, 
aliique Gallmaceum simpliciter nominant. Quid 
ergo dicendum, statuendumque? Ego sum eius 
prorsus opmionis ut (si verum est, ut dixi, 
huiusmodi innatum odium; iam enim id 
praesuppono) Galium ipsum quatenus tale 
animal est, a Leone pertimesci putem, nee mde 
id odium nasci credam, quod utrumque animal 
solare est, ut Proclus 726 existimat, sed occulti 
quid latere in Gallo, quo Leonem fuget. Atque 
hanc meam opinionem, quam semper saniori 
doctorum virorum mdicio subijcio, ex ipsomet 
Plinio 727 depromo{. Qui) <; qui> a Leonibus, et 
Pantheris homines non attingi, tradit, qui iure Galli 
peruncti fuerint, maxime, si ei allium admisceatur. Quae 
quidem res innatum Leonis timorem mdicat, et 
hanc forte semma ilia vocavit Lucretius, quae 
Leonum oculis incussa, lllos ceu caecutire, 
timereque faciant: hie autem ita canit 728 : 

Quin etiam Galium nocte<m> explaudentibus alis 

Auroram clara consuetum voce vocare, 

No<e>nu queunt rapidi contra constare Leones 

Inque tueri: ita continuo meminere fugai. 

Nimirum quia sunt Gallomm in cotpore quaedam 

Semina, quae cum {sint} <sunt> oculis immissa 

Leonum 

Pupillas interfodiunt acremque dolorem 

Praebent, ut nequeant contra durare fences: 

Cum tamen haec nostras acies nil laedere possint: 

Aut quia non penetrant, aut quod penetrantibus illis 

Exitus ex oculis liber datur, in {remeando} 

<remorando> 

Laedere non {possunt} <possint> ex ulla lumina parte. 

Quod si vero quispiam contra allatam sententiam 



suffers the subjugation, however even the common flock, equally 
proud, walks with head held high, with erect comb, and the 
rooster is the only bird looking often at the sky, rising upwards 
also the sickle shaped tail: thus they strike terror even into lions 
the bravest of wild animals. 

You can see therefore that in the second passage he 

does not mention the crowing, of which on the 

contrary makes mention only Solinus when he asserts 

that the lion fears the crowing of the roosters. Finally 

Aelian, Lucretius, Proclus and others simply mention 

the rooster. What then must be said and affirmed? I 

am entirely of such an opinion (if, as I said, such an 

inborn hatred is true; for at this point I give it as 

assumption) that I think that the rooster himself 

being such an animal is feared by the lion, and I am 

inclined to believe that that hatred does not arise from 

the fact that both are solar animals, as Proclus thinks, 

but that in the rooster there is something hidden 

which would frighten the lion away. And I take this 

my opinion from Pliny himself and always I subject it 

to the saner judgment of learned men. He reports: 

Those men are not touched by lions and panthers who have been 

greased with rooster juice, epecially if garlic is mixed with it. 

Undoubtedly this fact indicates an inborn fear of the 

lion, and perhaps Lucretius indicated it by those seeds 

which thrown into the lion's eyes make them the 

same as blind and fearful: for he sings as follows: 

Or rather, even the rooster driiing away the night with his 

wings 

is accustomed to call the dawn with a ringing voice 

and the vehement lions cannot stand before him 

or look at: so immediately they think of flight. 

Doubtless because in the body of the rooster there are 

certain seeds, which, thrown into the eyes of lions 

pierce the pupils and cause harsh pain, 

so that they cannot put up resistance to wild animals: 

but on the contrary these seeds cannot hurt our eyes at all: 

either because they do not penetrate or, when they are 

penetrating 

a spontaneous exit occurs, and if they remain there 

they cannot injure the eyes in any point. 

But if anyone should argue against the referred 



724 Collectanea rerum memorabilium XXVIII: Cantus gallinaceorum et rotarum timent strepitus, sed ignes magis. 

725 La natura degli animali VI,22: Esiste una grande inimicizia tra il leone, da una parte, e il fuoco e il gallo dall'altra. (traduzione di 
Francesco Maspero). 

726 De sacrijicio et magia. (Aldrovandi) 

727 Naturalis historia~XXYK,7&: Carnibus gallinaceorum ita, ut tepebunt avulsae, adpositis venena serpentium domantur, item cerebro 
in vino poto. Partlii gallinae malunt cerebrum plagis inponere. Ius quoque ex iis potum praeclare medetur, et in multis aliis usibus 
mirabile. Pantherae, leones non attingunt perunctos eo, praecipue si et alium fuerit incoctum. 

728 Y) e rerum natura IV, 712-723: Quin etiam gallum noctem explaudentibus alis | auroram clara consuetum voce vocare, | noenu 
queunt rapidi contra constare leones | inque tueri: ita continuo meminere fugai. | Ni mirum quia sunt gallorum in corpore 
quaedam | semina, quae cum sunt oculis inmissa leonum, | pupillas interfodiunt acremque dolorem | praebent, ut nequeant contra 
durare feroces, | cum tamen haec nostras acies nil laedere possint, | aut quia non penetrant aut quod penetrantibus illis | exitus ex 
oculis liber datur, in remorando | laedere ne possint ex ulla lumina parte. 



181 



arguat, dicatque Leones crista maxime perterreri, 
idque incle constare, quod Capum non 
timea<n>t: id huic minime negaverim, sed 
cristam primarium, atque evidentissimum 
signum esse dixerim, quo praesens Galium 
agnoscat, uti etiam cucu<r>ntus, dum longius 
abest. Unde is solam cristam, vel cantum 
duntaxat expavescere iure nequaquam 
concluserit. Neque etiam mirum fuerit, si et nos 
rem acu non tetigerimus. Etenim ipsemet 
Aelianus 729 causam explicare, cur scilicet Leo, et 
basiliscus Gallmaceum timeant, utpote 
abstrusam, atque abditam suum non esse 
tradidit: in quibus, mquiens, exquirendis etsi 
permulto abundant otio, plunmum tempons 
consumunt non tamen optatum assequuntur. 

Angui quoque Gallus terrori est: et Simia Galium 

odit, sed cum magno eorum, ac hominum 

condemnatorum detrimento, ac ignominia: nam 

ob eiusmodi odium cum cane omnes simul 

parricidarum culeo includebantur, ut nimirum 

Simia Galium persequeretur, Galium fugeret 

anguis, anguis in hommem penetraret, atque 

[241] ita vivus parricida, viva sepultura fieret: 

proinde hoc significans Iuvenalis alibi 730 canit. 

Clauditur adversis {contraria} <innoxia> simia fatis 

Item alibi 731 rursus. 

Cuius {in exitium) <supplicio> non debuit una parari 

Simia, nee sepens unus, nee culeus unus. 



opinion and say that lions are especially frightened by 
the comb, and that this is proven from the fact that 
they do not fear the capon, I should by no means 
deny this to him, but I should say that the comb is a 
primary and very evident mark by which one, 
standing before, can recognize a rooster as well as its 
crowing when being rather far away. Hence such a 
person by no means can rightly conclude that they 
fear only the comb or only the crowing. For it nor 
would be strange if I too had not touched on a sore 
point. For Aelian himself reported that it was not his 
job to explain the reason why the lion and the 
basilisk* fear the rooster since it is difficult and 
puzzling, adding that those who investigate such 
matters nevertheless have at their disposal a lot of 
leisure, waste very much time, but don't attain the 
hoped-for goal. 

Also for the snake the rooster is source of dread: also 
the monkey dislikes the rooster, with great harm and 
ignominy for all of them and for humans sentenced to 
death: for because of such a hate all of them were 
shut up along with the dog into the leather bag of the 
parricides - culleus* - obviously so that the monkey 
persecuted the rooster, the snake fled the rooster, the 
snake penetrated into the man, and so the living 
parricide became a living sepulcher: hence, with this 
in mind, Juvenal* elsewhere sings: 

The innocent monkey because of adverse fate is shut up. 
Likewise again in another passage: 

For his execution - of Seneca* - they have been prodded 
neither a single monkey, nor a single snake, nor a single leather 



Page 241 



Verum illud parum Gallo honoris conciliare 
viden possit, quod angui sit pavon, qui a leone 
ferarum generosissimo